"Don't Buy From Jews"
A prominent Roman Catholic NGO in Germany has called for a wide-ranging boycott of Israeli products. The petition represents an expansion of the boycott, disinvestment and sanction (BDS) movement against Israel in Germany, where efforts by pro-Palestinian activists to delegitimize the Jewish state continue to pick up momentum.
The German branch of Pax Christi, which describes itself as an "international Catholic peace movement," issued a press release dated May 22, in which it urged German consumers not to buy goods from Israel as long as it remains unclear whether they are produced in the "settlements" or in "Israel."
A two-page flyer for the campaign, which uses the slogan "Occupation Tastes Bitter" (Besatzung schmeckt bitter), states: "Israeli settlements on occupied territory violate Article 49 of the Geneva Convention. Whoever contributes to the profitability of these settlements contributes to the violation of human rights." The flyer also encourages German consumers to report "questionable" Israeli products on a website called www.lebensmittelklarheit.de .
Although Pax Christi claims it is not seeking a blanket boycott of Israeli products, the NGO's use of vague and sweeping language, plus the fact that there are no special labels to distinguish products made in the so-called occupied territories, does make it a de facto boycott of everything made in Israel.
Pax Christi's boycott campaign has received political backing from Albrecht Schröter, the Social Democratic mayor of the eastern German city of Jena in the state of Thuringia. A June 1 article in the local newspaper Thüringische Landeszeitung quotes Schröter as saying his goal "is to demand mandatory labeling of goods from illegal Israeli settlements that occupy Palestinian territory." (...)