Tony Greenstein | 25 February 2015 | Post Views:

‘Tasteless’ Waitrose Exposed

Last week we learnt that the
upmarket supermarket (well their prices are up-market!)  Waitrose, a supermarket that flaunts its
‘corporate social responsibility’ and its egalitarian employment practices –
has teamed up with the Israeli Tourist Board to produce a special glossy insert
for ‘Waitrose Kitchen’, their customer magazine. The 32-page insert is called
‘Taste of Israel Guide’, and is a shameless progaganda vehicle for the ‘Brand
Israel’ project. You can find out more here.

On Saturday Feb 21st Brighton Palestine
Solidarity Campaign pitched its weekly Saturday stall outside the Waitrose
branch in Western Road – not far from the shop formerly known as EcoStream,
which we closed down last year, in order to expose Waitrose’s complicity in the
attempt to normalise Israel’s appalling record of human rights abuses and
violations of international law in occupied Palestine.

Brighton PSC Picket of Waitrose

Beneath the title of the
Waitrose/Israel magazine ‘Taste of Israel’, we displayed photos of Israel’s
occupation – the wall, demolished houses, arrested children, checkpoints, and
shocking photos of Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza last summer – showing the
true tastelessness of the company’s partnership with the apartheid regime. Many
Waitrose customers were genuinely disgusted to discover that their supermarket
had allowed itself to be used as a pawn in Israel’s well-funded programme to
prettify its image abroad as an attractive tourist destination for British

Our anger over the Waitrose/Israel
collusion here in Brighton and Hove was replicated in similar demos across the
country, as people of conscience heard the news. In his reply to a letter from
one activist, Mark Perrill from Waitrose Customer Service helpfully explained:
I’d like to assure you that Waitrose
Kitchen is not political – we take adverts from a wide range of different
businesses and organisations.”
As the activist explained to Mr Perrill in
her reply, “Not political? What else do
you call it if you support racism and apartheid?… You must know that Israel,
while passing itself off as an honest member of the trading community, in
actual fact keeps expanding its illegal settlements in the West Bank and lives
off the proceeds of land, water and other resources stolen from the indigenous
population…I think Waitrose should be better than that.”

We and others around the country
will continue to put pressure on the company until it withdraws its tasteless
publicity for ethnic cleansing and withdraws from its partnership with Israel.

Thursday 19th February
posted by Morning Star in Britain
PALESTINE supporters have slammed an attempt by Israel’s
propaganda machine to promote the apartheid state in co-operation with a
British supermarket chain.
Waitrose and Israel’s Tourist Office are to produce a
32-page food and travel guide promoting Israel in Waitrose Kitchen magazine.

Oblivious to the Occupation or Israeli Apartheid we have pages on ‘The
history and culture behind Israel’s culinary creations’ in a situation where Israel
is notorious for claiming that traditional Arab foods and recipes are its own, Why
Israeli craft beer is making a name for itself (clue:  it’s blood red)  instructions for creating the perfect falafel
and hummus (both stolen foods stolen from the Arabs).  We are told that the Waitrose Kitchen
magazine has 680,925 readers.  Presumably
Waitrose would have had no problem producing a similar magazine with a certain
Aryan state 80   years ago.

You can contact Waitrose at:

Waitrose Customer Service Department
Waitrose Limited
Doncastle Road
RG12 8YA
Email: [email protected]
Waitrose is an early proponent of ethical
trade.  In their own hypocritical words:
“Our aim is to raise awareness, encourage
suppliers to be honest about the issues they face . . . . ”
(Partnership Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2007)

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Tony Greenstein

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