French supermarket removes Israeli produce following complaint over Gaza


(JTA) — A French-Jewish watchdog on anti-Semitism has called for a boycott of a supermarket where employees were seen removing Israeli produce at the request of a shopper who complained citing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and violence in Gaza.

The Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, also said in a statement Monday that it had complained to police about the incident, which was filmed last month at the store of the Carrefour chain in the Parisian suburb of Chambourcy.

Selling dates from the brand Sun on Ramadan “is an affront to Muslim shoppers,” a man rapidly speaking in French tells the manager, citing “what they are doing in Gaza.” The manager is seen placing the packages of dates in a trolley brought by employees and removing them from the shelf as the man who complained about the dates thanks him.

The complainant is seen telling a shopper about a different brand of dates: “These are good, they’re from Algeria.”

The Israeli dates were later returned to the shelves, a Carrefour spokesperson told Le Figaro in an article published Monday. Carrefour “offers merchandise and adheres to a strict neutrality on politics, philosophy and religion,” the spokesperson added.

CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, told Le Figaro that the boycott actions “are mixed in with anti-Semitic acts. Through Israel, the Jews are targeted here.” CRIF has also filed police complaints against boycott actions such as the one documented last month in Chambourcy.

Sammy Ghozlan, a leader of BNVCA, in a statement condemned what he called the actions of “an Islamist police” in French supermarkets.

BNVCA said the act was “discriminatory.” Promoting a boycott against a nation is illegal in France, where dozens of activists for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel have been convicted for inciting hatred or discrimination.

Notwithstanding, anti-Israel activists regularly raid French supermarkets carrying Israeli produce.

Recent incidents include a Grand Frais store in Décines near Lyon; an Intermarche store in the town of Itxassou in southwestern France and a Lidl store in Drancy near Paris, according Le Figaro. A spokesperson for Grand Frais told the paper his chain is a “victim of these attacks, that prevent us from doing our work.”

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