Friday, June 19, 2009

Trader Joe's Boycott

I received this today from the Jewish Council on Public Affairs. Please read and pass on to your friends who shop at Trader Joe's. I would also encourage you to write a letter of support to Trader Joe's.

Susan Katz
Executive Director

Dear Colleagues,

It has come to our attention that the anti-Israel groups under the umbrella of the "U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel" recently sent form letters to Trader Joe's headquarters demanding the company stop carrying Israeli products as these products "help fund an economy based on illegal occupation and apartheid."

The Anti-Defamation League Central Pacific office sent a letter to Trader Joe's and received a response from Jon Basalone, Trader Joe's Senior Vice President of Marketing. He wrote, "We have received a few letters [threatening a boycott] like this via our customer relations email. Our response is that we sell products, and do not use our products as political tools or to make any statements about any political causes. We have no intention of removing any products based on pressure from any group, no matter what they support or don't support. As always, we believe our customers are smart, and they are capable of making decisions about what they purchase."

Anti-Israel activists in
Pittsburgh walked into a Trader Joe's and proceeded to pull Israeli goods and distribute misinformation materials to customers before being removed for trespassing. Additonally we have heard word about this from the JCRCs in Nashville and Silicon Valley.

The anti-Israel groups have called for a national day of de-shelving Israeli products from Trader Joe's stores on Saturday, June 20, World Refugee Day.

(Click here for the boycott website where you can see what a fine collection of people Trader Joes said "no" to.)

We are asking you to do the following:

1. Alert your community members and encourage them to shop at Trader Joe's stores and to specifically buy Israeli products, particularly before and during the weekend of June 20. It would be fantastic if all the Israeli products are gone before the boycotters arrive.

Israeli products carried at Trader Joe's include: Dorot Crushed Garlic, Dorot Chopped Cilantro, Holyland Matzos, Pastures of Eden Feta Imported, Trader Joe's Israeli Couscous and Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend.

2. Tell managers at Trader Joe's stores that you really like the Israeli products they carry and hope they will carry more in the future.

3. Alert managers that June 20 has been declared as a day to de-shelve Israeli products and they should be aware of any people who may try to vandalize, shoplift, or deface the products in any way.

4. Write a letter of thanks to Trader Joe's national headquarters on their contact page here or by mail to:

Don Bane, Chairman and CEO
Doug Rauch, President
Charles J. Pilliter, SVP Operations
Trader Joe's Main Headquarters
800 S. Shamrock Ave.
Monrovia, CA 91016

Below you will find sample text:

It has recently come to my attention that anti-Israel groups called for a boycott of Israeli products in your stores.

I want to thank you for not giving into this pressure and for carrying products from
Israel that I and so many others enjoy across the country. I will continue to buy these goods and others from your stores.


  1. A Bay Area group is planning a series of "Terror Attacks" aimed at stores that carry Israeli products this Saturday. Details here. Do what you can to thwart these loonies.

  2. More information on the boycott at my Divest This! blog at including recipes on what to do with any couscous you decided to buy (courtesy of my mom).