San Francisco Chronicle

A just boycott

When does a citizen-led boycott of a state become morally justified? That question is raised by an expanding academic, cultural and economic boycott of Israel. The movement joins churches, unions, professional societies and other groups based in the United States, Canada, Europe and South Africa. It has elicited dramatic reactions from Israel’s supporters. US labor leaders have condemned British unions, representing millions of workers, for supporting the Israel boycott. George Bisharat comments. 

Memory as a blueprint for the future

Why do some people have the power to remember, while others are asked to forget? That question is especially poignant at this time of year, as we move from Holocaust Remembrance day in early spring to Monday’s anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence on May 14, 1948. In the months surrounding that date, Jewish forces expelled, or intimidated into flight, an estimated 750,000 Palestinians. A living, breathing, society that had existed in Palestine for centuries was smashed and fragmented, and a new society built on its ruins. 

Starbucks pulls out of Israel, ends joint-venture

Starbucks Coffee Co. is reportedly closing six stores in Israel this April as well as dissolving a partnership with the Delek Group of Israel, which operated the coffeehouses. Company spokespeople would not disclose any specific reasons as to why it has done this except so say that “[t]he decision to end the partnership was independent of ongoing turmoil in the Middle East and the war with Iraq.” Helen Jung writes for the Associated Press. 

Ban on Israeli goods has shoppers in uproar: Some demand Rainbow co-op end boycott

Rainbow Grocery’s ban on carrying certain Israeli-made goods has angered some customers and prompted the Jewish Community Relations Council in San Francisco to demand that the Mission District co-op reverse its boycott immediately. Jenny Strasburg reports for The San Francisco Chronicle. 

Middle East unrest hits grocery store

The tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have spilled into the aisles of a San Francisco supermarket, where certain departments of the co-op Rainbow Grocery have removed Israeli-made products from their shelves. Although Israeli products remain on the shelves of other Rainbow departments, which are run independently, some workers are pushing for a storewide boycott, an employee of the Mission District store said Tuesday. Jenny Strasburg reports in The San Francisco Chronicle.