THE HAGUE, Netherlands (JTA) — The German international supermarket chain Aldi has begun boycotting products from Israeli settlements.
According to an article Monday in the Amsterdam-based Trouw daily, a spokesperson for the Aldi chain confirmed to the paper that it recently began boycotting settler goods because Aldi “does not wish its products to become the subject of controversy.”
Aldi has stores in 16 European countries as well as in the United States and Australia. The article in Trouw did not say whether Aldi’s policy on goods from the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights applied only in the Netherlands or applied as well to its other international branches.
Hoogvliet, a smaller Dutch competitor, also said it was boycotting settler goods and a third Dutch network, Jumbo, said it has taken steps to ensure that products bearing its own brand contain no settler goods. Jumbo sells toilet paper, meat, jam and other products under its brand.
Jumbo also said it has asked suppliers of products that are labeled as originating from Israel to provide official documents confirming that the products are not from the West Bank “because the client has a right to receive accurate information,” a Jumbo spokesperson said.
In March, Holland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs advised stores that sell products from Israeli settlements to replace “Made in Israel” labels on the products with a label reading “Product from Israeli settlement (West Bank/Golan Heights/East Jerusalem).”
On July 19, the European Commission adopted new guidelines that prohibit EU institutions from giving awards and grants to entities in those areas. The European Union has said it considers Israeli settlements there to be illegal under international law.
Other supermarket chains in the Netherlands, including Albert Heijn, which has 850 stores, say they have no special policy on products shipped from Israel.