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Shoe Seller Shoos Away Anti-Israel Boycotters

BDS tactics "are not the Australian way," says Australian politician, after anti-Israel activists target store for selling Israeli shoes.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 8/30/2012, 8:54 PM

Shoes (illustrative)
Shoes (illustrative)
Reuters

Australian anti-Israel activists associated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement launched a new campaign last weekend, targeting businesses they accuse of "selling the products of apartheid Israel."

Approximately 50 members of the Justice for Palestine group in Brisbane, Australia, staged what they called the first “Brisbane BDS walking tour,” stopping at local stores they accuse of selling Israeli-made products and handing letters to their managers demanding that they stop, The Australian reported.

Among their targets was shoe retailer Children of the Revolution, which they targeted for selling an Israeli-made brand that runs an outlet store east of the so-called Green Line that demarcates the territory liberated by Israel in 1967.

The owner of the store, Sally McGregor, said that the protesters had occupied it until they were forced to leave by police, according to the newspaper. The anti-Israel activists then reportedly spent close to three hours outside of the store, threatening to return each weekend, until the owner succumbed to their demands.

Sales were significantly disrupted by the protests.

However, McGregor, a practicing podiatrist for 25 years before opening the shop, has no intention of backing down. "I will not be bullied," she said yesterday, according to The Australian.

Bernie Ripoll, an Australian politician, who has already fought the BDS movement in Brisbane, said yesterday that the protest "offended every fiber in my body".

BDS tactics "are not the Australian way," he asserted.

"The overwhelming majority of Australians who believe in tolerance and a fair go will no doubt be dubious about the tactics of these extremists," he said.

President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and ardent Zionist who headed the Mizrachi in Australia, Dr. Danny Lamm, also denounced the protest.

"It is outrageous that a gang of Justice for Palestine protesters invaded a shop, tried to dictate to the owner what products she may or may not sell, and then bullied the owner with threats of further harassment," he said, according to The Australian.

"These mafia-style tactics have no place in contemporary Australia. The shop owner deserves our admiration and every support for refusing to be stood over," he added.