Dunnes urged to boycott Israeli goods


DUNNES STORES has received a petition signed by 6,000 of its customers which calls on the supermarket chain to stop stocking Israeli products because of its policies on Palestine.

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) handed in the petition to Dunnes Stores’ head office in Dublin yesterday after collecting the signatures in stores around the country over recent weeks.

IPSC chairperson Freda Hughes said all supermarkets selling Israeli goods would be targeted eventually but Dunnes had been chosen to start the campaign because of the historical significance of the anti-apartheid strike at the retailer in the 1980s.

Those handing over the petition included Brendan Archbold, the trade union official at the centre of that strike, as well as Ms Hughes and Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh.

Ms Hughes stressed that the IPSC was not calling on shoppers to boycott Dunnes or any other retailer that carried Israeli goods but wanted the stores to cease stocking these products until Israel respected Palestinian rights and international law.

“Dunnes was on the wrong side of history, siding with the South African apartheid regime against its own workers,“ she said. “This is a chance for it to put itself on the right side of history.”

Mr Archbold drew parallels between the old apartheid regime of South Africa and the state of Israel. “Just as South African forces shot and killed their own people in Sharpeville and Uitenhage, so too do the Israeli military adopt a shoot-to-kill policy.”

The petition campaign is similar to the boycott, divestment and sanctions actions taken in other countries against Israel. According to the IPSC, many South African organisations, and figures including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have endorsed the campaign.