Sunday, June 21, 2009

Trader Joe's Boycott - "Raising Awareness" In An Unexpected Way

I really appreciate the anti-Israel group that spearheaded a completely ineffective boycott of Trader Joe's. They "raised awareness" --- at least to me --- of an important issue.

In case you missed it, some newly-minted month-old wacko group, spouting the usual anti-Israel blather of such wacko groups, demanded that Trader Joe's remove all Israeli products from its shelves. As always seems to be the case with such groups, they apparently had no concerns about all the other countries that do far worse things than what they claim Israel does, thereby raising the obvious inference that they are motivated by their own anti-Semitism or anti-Israel sentiments, rather a broader concern for human rights.

Trader Joe's properly refused their demands. "Trader Joe’s will not be used as a political tool, and we will not remove any products under pressure from any group. We believe our customers are smart and capable enough to make their own choices,” Trader Joe's explained. Exactly.

The wackos then decided to launch a boycott, with picketers, leaflets (which the wackos usually refer to as "literature"), and taking Israeli products off shelves. I assume the wackos' best case scenario would involve zillions showing up at my local TJ's shouting "No justice, no falafels." But things did not go as planned. The boycott "fizzled" according to the Jewish Journal and the LA Times blog, with about 20 protesters showing up in Oakland and a few other cities, and not much else.

I am not sure that "fizzled" is the right verb. The protest might not have turned out great numbers of wackos, but it did manage to focus my attention on a critical issue about which I was completely ignorant. I had no idea Trader Joe's actually had Israeli products. But my ignorance is now dispelled, and yours can be too: Trader Joe's apparently has both Israeli couscous and feta cheese. My family shops weekly at Trader Joe's, and we will be sure to pick some up next time we are there.

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