Montreal shoe store boycott suspended over radical group


TORONTO (JTA) — The boycott of a Montreal shoe store that sells Israeli shoes has been suspended because a radical group wants to take part in the campaign.

The Palestinian and Jewish Unity group, or PAJU, has suspended for two weeks the weekly vigils it has held since October outside the Le Marcheur shoe store because of the intent to participate by the little-known Revolutionary Nationalist Movement Quebecers. The group had planned to demonstrate outside the store, which sells  shoes made in Israel, on Jan. 29.

In a statement, PAJU called the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement Quebecers "a national-socialist organization, thus representing the expression of the extreme right," and said it was "racist, anti-immigrant and views violence as a revolutionary instrument."

PAJU "will not tolerate any form of racism, anti-Semitism or any other expression of xenophobia on our picket line,” said the group’s president, Bruce Katz.

The owner of the store, which sells the Beautifeel line of shoes made in Israel, said he is exploring obtaining a legal injunction to put a stop to the demonstrations.

Many Montreal Jews have gone out of their way to purchase shoes at Le Marcheur.

In recent weeks, the PAJU demonstrators have been joined by Amir Khadir, an Iranian-born member of Quebec’s Legislature.

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