German dept. store insists no boycott of Israel

Facing charges of anti-Semitism, KaDeWe claims Israeli products were removed from shelves as part of 'periodic inspections.'

Cynthia Blank ,

KaDeWe store
KaDeWe store

Facing accusations of anti-Semitism, the German department store KaDeWe rushed to explain on Sunday its decision to remove Israeli products from its shelves.

"KaDeWe offers an international assortment and we are very proud of it," the store wrote in a Facebook statement. "Of course our assortment contains many products from Israel."

"As part of periodic inspections in the store, some products are taken off the shelves for a short period of time. After completing the tests we return the products to the shelves immediately," KaDeWe continued, in an apparent bid to distance itself from charges of a boycott against Israel. 

"Unfortunately these facts were mislead in some media. We deeply regret this," it added. KaDeWe stands for cosmopolitanism and internationality. We reject any form of discrimination and intolerance."

Following a report in Der Spiegel that KaDeWe had removed the Israeli products, Israelis and Jews living in Germany, as well as worldwide Israel supporters lashed out at the store. 

Hundreds of outraged people also stormed KaDeWe's Facebook page to lower its ranking in response to the move, Channel 2 reported.

"You're an anti-Semitic store," one person wrote, urging buyers "not to go there. This is a store that works against Jews and Israel." 

Despite KaDeWe's insistence that the removal applied only to eight brands of wine - and that the bottles would be returned to shelves after they were properly labeled according to the EU's new guidelines - Israeli shoppers were less than impressed.