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Two Can Play at that Game: Israelis Boycott Turkish Goods

Take that, Turkey: we don’t want your stuff!

by
Stephanie L. Freid

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June 16, 2010 - 12:00 am
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Ahhh boycotts.  Israel is used to them. If it’s not a call for an academic boycott coming out of England, the U.S., or even internally, then it’s an organized cultural boycott or a ban on Israeli films or products.

In recent weeks, as happens each year, a number of performing artists planning to give concerts in the country this summer — Elvis Costello, Santana, and the Pixies among them — canceled suddenly.  Pressure due to the political climate in the wake , their PR people say. Following the Gaza flotilla incident, organizers of Madrid’s gay pride parade banned Israeli participants.

Israel is used to being the neighborhood pariah. Another boycott? Okay. What else you got?

False bravado and cavalier “I don’t care anyway” attitudes mask hurt. Being the perennial outcast  – deservedly or not — is no fun.

So the opportunity to turn it around and boycott someone else for a change is almost refreshing. It delivers that “I’m getting mine back” feeling that maybe Israelis need as headlines hurl condemnation after condemnation and pending investigations hover in the background.

Specifically, on the heels of the flotilla incident, several of Israel’s major supermarket chains decided it’s time to boycott Turkish goods.

A spokesperson for a chain store said, in heeding popular public demand, the parent company intends to stop working with Turkish suppliers exporting flour and pasta to Israel. While the boycott comes as a reaction to the recent events, Israel-Turkey relations have been simmering for months.

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