Pro-Israel Dutch party sends election winners Israeli wine

Dutch party which supports Israel uses bottles of Israeli wine to congratulate winners of local election - and defy calls for boycott.

Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA ,

Buying wine at a supermarket (illustrative)
Buying wine at a supermarket (illustrative)

A pro-Israel Dutch party sent bottles of Israeli wine to the winners of last week’s local elections, joining others who fought back against a call to boycott the product on political grounds.

The Reformed Political Party, or SGP, a devoutly Protestant movement, announced the gifts on Twitter on Wednesday. A day earlier supporters of Israel began buying up bottles of Israeli wine in response to an anti-Israel activist who questioned why a Dutch grocer was stocking the wine.

The union of SGP local politicians sent “Israeli wine to all elected members of the States-Provincial” regions, the Dutch Water Board and other winners of the March 20 regional elections, it said in a tweet. It featured a picture of Barkan wine, manufactured in various places in Israel.

The SGP tweet contained the hashtag #tipvanmieke, a reference to Mieke Zagt, who on Monday posted a picture of Efrat-brand Israeli wine being sold at the Hema supermarket chain. She urged Hema not to sell the product,which she mistakenly suggested originated at a Jewish settlement.

In reaction, hundreds of Dutch supporters of Israel bought up the entire Efrat stock at Hema, which has 525 stores in the Netherlands alone. Many posted pictures of freshly bought Efrat wine with the hashtag.

The Christian for Israel organization set up a Facebook page to counter future boycott attempts.