TORONTO (JTA) — An elected official in Quebec has joined a boycott of a Montreal shoe store because it sells Israeli-made products.
Amir Khadir, a member of the National Assembly in the province, made no apologies for asking shoppers to boycott the Le Marcheur shoe shop, which is in his own riding, or electoral district, because it sells Beautifeel shoes, a brand made in Israel.
"Just because a business is in my riding, I am not going to abandon my principles," the Iranian-born Khadir told the Montreal Gazette.
Khadir took part in a demonstration over the weekend in front of the store, handing out flyers and asking customers to boycott the shop until it stops selling Israeli-made shoes.
Demonstrations at the store, which began in October, are spearheaded by Palestinian and Jewish Unity, a Montreal-based pro-Palestinian group.
Shop owner Yves Archambault said he was "sickened" to learn his own government representative was picketing his store and has vowed to keep selling the Israeli-made line.
"I don’t care where my products come from, I only care about comfort and quality," Archambault told the Gazette.
In 2008, Khadir came under fire for throwing a shoe at a picture of then-U.S. President George W. Bush at a rally in Montreal. A citizen’s complaint against him alleged the gesture "encouraged violence" and did not live up to the "dignity and responsibilities of a Member of the National Assembly."
Khadir countered that his constituents knew what they were getting when they elected him.