Fury over store’s kosher food removal

Fury over store’s kosher food removal

Outrage expressed after the Sainsbury’s branch in Holborn caves into anti-Israel protesters.

The branch manager of the central London store ordered the section to be emptied on Saturday afternoon, while protesters outside picketed it calling for a boycott of Israeli goods. The move prompted outrage after a photo of the empty shelves was posted on social media.

Colin Appleby, an actor and producer, took a picture of the empty shelves and posted it on his Facebook page. He said the kosher section contained food made in the UK, Poland and Israel, adding that a staff member defended the decision, saying:

We support Free Gaza.

Later Appleby was accused on Twitter of:

Having a Zionist hissyfit.

Louise Mensch, the former Tory MP, accused Sainsbury’s of racism, writing on Twitter, said:

• Dear @Sainsburys kosher is JEWISH food. Israel is a COUNTRY. How DARE YOU equate Jews’ food to ISRAEL, how dare you #EverydayAntisemitism.

• @Sainsbury’s are the scum of the earth as a company for taking away kosher food rather than contacting police. Evil racism from them.

• Racism outside the @Sainsburys store, racism inside the @sainsburys store, nothing but #EverydayAntisemitism involved in removal kosher food.

A complaint to Sainsbury’s by Facebook user Gavin Platman said the move blurred the line between a political statement and a hate crime. He wrote:

I presume you are aware that Kosher food is produced in countries other than Israel? You are therefore not making a political statement against Israel but instead are targeting a group based on race – ie Jews.

As a Jew I find this deeply offensive. Naturally I am against the death of innocent children in Gaza, so why are you persecuting me by denying me the right to buy Kosher food?

I presume you are also removing Halal food in protest against the Islamic State slaughtering Yazidis. Clearly not – therefore you have blurred the line between political statement and hate crime.

A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said it was “an absolutely non-political organisation” and said the food was returned to the shelves:

As soon as was practically possible.

She added:

It was an isolated decision made by in a very challenging situation. It was chilled food and he was simply trying to preserve it.

She denied the decision was racist and said that there would be no investigation or action taken against the branch manager.

It was the manager’s decision there and then – not company policy at all. We have had similar demonstrations at stores where people have gone in and removed goods, though no great damage was done. A decision was taken by a store manager faced with a challenging situation outside the store.

In a separate Free Gaza protest in Birmingham on Saturday, police arrested a man after a group waving Palestinian flags burst into a Tesco store and threw produce on the ground. The Hodge Hill Tesco branch was forced to close for a few minutes. West Midlands police tweeted:

Protest was largely peaceful among the 100 protesters but some began throwing stock inside Tesco store. Two escorted from premises.

Meanwhile, from Israel comes news that four far-right Jewish protesters were arrested at a protest mounted against a wedding couple yesterday. The bride was a convert to Islam, and the groom an Arab Muslim.

Several hundred demonstrators rallied outside the reception hall in Rishon LeZion, amid high security.

The groom, Mahmoud Mansour, had sought a court order to try to stop the protest from taking place but failed. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin condemned the demonstrations against the couple’s union. Rivlin has been quoted by Israeli media describing the Lehava demonstrators as

Rodents gnawing under the shared democratic and Jewish foundation of Israel.

Supporters of the far-right Jewish Lehava group, who oppose the intermarriage of Arab Muslims and Jews, were granted permission to picket the wedding as long as they did not come within 200 metres of the wedding hall.

But four protesters were arrested for failing to follow police instructions.


A counter-demonstration of left-wing protesters, above, was also staged in support of the couple’s marriage, with hundreds of police deployed to keep the two sets of demonstrators apart.

The bride, Morel Malka, and her husband invited 500 guests to celebrate their marriage on Sunday. Ms Malka, 23, had converted to Islam ahead of the ceremony.

Mr Mansour, 26, told Israel’s Channel 2 ahead of the wedding:

We live in true coexistence, and I don’t really care what people say.

Hat tip: Ivan Bailey (Sainsbury’s), Trevor Blake (slaughter of Yazidis link) and BarrieJohn (wedding report)


26 responses to “Fury over store’s kosher food removal”

  1. Paul Cook says:

    I wonder if the Edgeware Road Sainsbury’s got rid of all its kosher food too?

    To preserve it as it was chilled food.

  2. L.Long says:

    I would understand the removal of kosher & halal meats as the production of which is essentially illegal in USA (except the theocratic cowards that bow down to the dimwitted religious) and I thought was also illegal over there as well as it is nothing short of animal torture. BUT to not sell other foods is silly. And to pick on one section delusional dims and not another groups, there is a word for that ..MMMMMmmmm. right! BIGOTS!!!!!

  3. Sean says:

    I had a look at the Hate Mail’s account of the wedding. Almost all of the Jewish “protesters”were proclaiming in Hebrew things like “Good luck”and “LOVE!”, only one picture shows looney haters.

  4. Matt Westwood says:

    Boycott produce from Israel, certainly, but all kosher food? Sorry, that’s nasty and unnecessary.

  5. barriejohn says:

    Matt: It looks as if the manager was afraid that the display would be vandalized, so had the food removed for that reason . Given the stress that he was under, and the apparent lack of instruction, I sympathize with him. Why can’t people protest peacefully these days, without making victims of the innocent? Are they all incapable of putting their arguments in a logical and reasonable way?

  6. Jeffrey Jones says:

    I am not Jewish, nor Israeli, but to remove any produce from Israel on political grounds impinges on my rights to choose, irrespective of politics or religion.
    When is Britain going to stand up against these Muslim thugs.

  7. Matt Westwood says:

    Sorry, it wasn’t the manager of Sainsburys I was having a problem with, it’s the people out there attacking kosher food. While I consider it a silly custom to have one’s food choice limited by your religious beliefs, it’s a genuine one; if there’s one freedom a person should have, it’s what food they choose to eat.

    As I say, if a particular product comes from Israel, then fine — don’t buy it. If enough people share your misgivings then the theory is that it will affect their balance of payments (although it will probably have about as much direct effect as spitting in the ocean, quite frankly, and all it will do is salve a personal conscience).

    But to attack and destroy an entire aisle of foodstuffs in a supermarket? As I say: nasty.

    As for @Jeffrey Jones: the phrase “Muslim thugs”comes across as lazy hate-rhetoric born of ignorance.

  8. Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

    But what is a supermarket in the 21st century UK doing selling food slaughtered inhumanely in the name of a religion in the first place? Why does a nation whose population is predominantly secular permit various religious minorities (Judaists and Mohameddans) to use methods to kill animals for their specific consumption in ways that outrage the majority?
    When I was a child, we had an ultra-orthodox Kosher slaughterhouse where I lived, which I would pass several times a week. I was under five years of age (it was before I started school) and the sight of chickens hanging by their feet with throats cut and blood on the floor terrified me: for some reason, the place kept its doors open during the day. There were also over-packed crates of still living chickens, obviously aware of what was about to happen to them. I can still smell it.
    And yet, I am conflicted about it. My mother’s cousing married into a Jewish family (so the purpose of a Kosher slaughterhouse was explained to me at that early age), so I have no problem with Judaism as such. Even more importantly, the slaughterhouse was established by a mostly unknown Holocaust Hero, Solomon Schonfeld, who set it up in the late 1930s for children he had personally rescued from Nazism in eastern Europe. His contribution to the survival of European Jews went commpletely unrecognised until the early 1980s, shortly before his death. I want to mark the site of the slaughterhouse witha Blue Plaque in recognition of his services to European Jewry.
    At the same time, I find the whole idea of insisting that the blood be drained from a still living animal and that it be prayed over by a religious leader utterly repugnant. Schonfeld recognised and made clear that his slaughterhouse was for the ultra-orthodox children he was rescuing: the existing Jewish community was served by Kosher butchers whose methods were not quite as strict as those demanded by the chidren’s families. It was a concession for young people who were traumatised by what they had gone through before being brought to England. Yet this barbaric place continued to operated into the 1960s, when I knew it. Thankfully, it closed before I reached an age where it could outrage, not just terrify, me.
    Halal is as bad. Whether it is an Imam or a Rabbi spouting their superstitious nonsense over the slowly dying corpses of animals that their followers wish to eat, there ought to be no place for this kind of suffering in a nation that considers itself civilised. If these religiots want their meat drained of blood, stun the animal to within a micrometre of its life before cutting the throat; have both a Rabbi and and Imam mumble in front of it; label it “Kosher & Halal” and see if any of their followers can taste the difference.

  9. jay says:

    The left seems to trip over itself in ignoring the brutal, misogynistic, missile launching, child labor (digging tunnels), Hamas government and focus entirely on the bad behavior of Israel. An atheist, peace movement woman I know has been going on and on about this since the latest situation blew up. Yet as an atheist woman she would be a LOT safer on an Israeli street than a Gaza street.

    As a side point, at my job we periodically get training on points of law that relate to our business. We are warned in no uncertain terms that to partake in a boycott by refusing to sell to customers in certain countries (whether directly, or by our actions of avoiding them) is a criminal offense. The company can be fined and the individuals charged with a felony.

  10. Paul Cook says:

    @ Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews

    islam and judaism have the same ritual for their foods.
    They stem from one religion – judaism. islam is not in reality a different religion. many of is lams practices are the same as judaism.

    That they are the same can be seen by the many many muslims from all over the world in London’s Salt Beef Sandwich shops run by jews. It was a Sudanese muslim who told me he always ate there when in London on business – as did all his friends. As the food is hall/khoser – it was the same.

    as to making other stuff kosher – when in Finchley I was informed by the manager of Tesco’s that a rabbi would go to their warehouse make some comments and all inside would be kosher. It was he said – a joke.

    The fact that jews (and muslims) continue to go through this utter nonsense and it cannot be anything else, shows how these religions grew out of taxing people for what they eat. Pastoralists giving certain amounts of animals to priests, when they slaughter their animals they MUST do it at a temple and give the best parts to the priests etc.

  11. Norman Paterson says:

    Paul – They don’t give food to the priests. They give it to God. The priests only get what God leaves on the plate. Of course, only the best is good enough to offer God but it does seem to be awfully hard to tickle his palate.

  12. barriejohn says:

    Norman: No – it was for the priests!

    “You shall consecrate the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the heave offering which was waved and which was offered from the ram of ordination, from the one which was for Aaron and from the one which was for his sons. It shall be for Aaron and his sons as their portion forever from the sons of Israel, for it is a heave offering; and it shall be a heave offering from the sons of Israel from the sacrifices of their peace offerings, even their heave offering to the LORD.”

    (Exodus 29:27&28)

  13. barriejohn says:

    “He shall then bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests; and shall take from it his handful of its fine flour and of its oil with all of its frankincense. And the priest shall offer it up in smoke as its memorial portion on the altar, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD. The remainder of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons: a thing most holy, of the offerings to the LORD by fire.”

    (Leviticus 2:2&3)

    Priests have always lived well!

  14. Norman Paterson says:

    I stand corrected. But it is a most amazing scam.

    You have to wonder about this. People have not changed much in the last few thousand years, so I guess there were grifters back then too. I wonder if we are too generous in giving them the benefit of the doubt, and saying that in these ignorant, pre-scientific times, religion was the best explanation that they had. Perhaps in fact Aaron (or Moses, if it was he who wrote Leviticus) really was just a con man. The end result is indistinguishable from a scam.

    OT: The Lord said to Moses/They shall all have round noses/Excepting for Aaron/’cos he’ll have a square ‘un.

  15. barriejohn says:

    How do we know that Moses wore a wig?

    Because sometimes he was seen with Aaron and sometimes he wasn’t – boom!boom!

  16. John Coffin says:

    Remember the China boycott after Tiananmen Square?
    Or the boycotts after the Hamla Massacre by Syria?

    Oh, right, there weren’t any. So long as ‘human rights’ protests are exclusively directed against Israel, the whole project of Human Rights is made a mockery.

    The fact that our protesters are demonstrably indifferent to ALL human suffering everywhere on earth, except Israel, makes realistic criticism of Israeli policy impossible.

    ‘Muslim Thugs,’ and their ‘useful idiots,’ are not exaggerated terms.

  17. Paul Cook says:


    when I read Who Wrote The Bible (Friedman) one impression I had upon finishing it was the bible and all that went with it was all a scam (which we all probably agree upon), but the scam was for ‘priests’ to receive free meat, and animals, and have power over everyone who needed to slaughter their own animals, which they wanted to control, and the receipt of fees for doing it and free produce. I felt that this was all set up by so called priests who were ‘butchers ‘and or ‘abattoir owners’ (not that there would have been abattoirs in those times – but I am sure you get the meaning). I concluded they didn’t want people slaughtering animals all over the place making a mess – hygiene to some extent was at some of it’s root. But more likely money.

    Some research into the bible and all the rubbish that goes with it does conclude that the ‘priestly class’ created, meant that their lives were to be paid for by the masses – so no change there then.

  18. barriejohn says:

    John Coffin: Hyperbole. I well remember the boycott of South Africa over apartheid, and its effectiveness, and I also well remember the right-wing attitude that not only was such action misplaced but that it would be totally ineffective. I also remember what happened to Peter Hain for taking a prominent anti-apartheid stand. A lot of people have also been boycotting Chinese goods for years!

  19. Norman Paterson says:

    BarrieJohn – I remember the apartheid boycott too. Let’s see – about 1970, wasn’t it? Though it did last quite a few years. It probably achieved as much as the Greenham Common protest – ie not a lot. Other factors caused the changes. Demographics for apartheid, and economics for Greenham Common.

    Anyway, this is as relevant as pointing out that the Arabs brought Hindu decimal notation to Europe (*), therefore Islam is a beacon of enlightenment.

    (*)Except they didn’t. The Arabs brought decimal notation to Arabia. Fibonacci – a European – brought it to Europe. The point is, it was a long time ago.

  20. Norman Paterson says:

    BarrieJohn – And another thing! “A lot of people have also been boycotting Chinese goods for years!” You say this as if to surprise everyone here with an unexpected piece of information. The fact that it *is* unexpected underlines how quiet their boycott has been. No riots, no supermarket shelves thrown on the floor, no-one shouting “death to Chinese!”, no Chinese shops being torched as Jewish ones are in Paris … I don’t think John Coffin’s comments are hyperbolic.

  21. barriejohn says:

    (N)o Chinese shops being torched as Jewish ones are in Paris .

    That’s thinly veiled anti-semitism masquerading as human rights protests. I don’t think that there is indifference to “ALL human suffering everywhere on earth”; that is hyperbole. I think that more is expected of Israel, and wish that the Americans wouldn’t refuse to criticise them whatever they do. I also think that there is less of a social conscience in the West nowadays, more’s the pity.

  22. Jeffrey Jones says:

    @Mathew Westford, re my comment on muslim thugs; on the contrary it comes from my direct observation of Muslim behaviour around the world. Maybe it’s too politically incorrect for you.

  23. Jeffrey Jones says:

    As a South African, I don’t know how much of a part the boycott did to end apartheid. The system was bound to collapse as it was economically impossible to keep up the whole ridiculous, evil system. Why it ended when it did is probably far more because of the stroke to P.W. Botha, that allowed F.W. de Klerk to become president. He was far more pragmatic, which allowed for the negotiations to proceed.
    As for the boycotts and sanctions, they had practically zero effect on whites, and actually hardened attitudes of many of them against the international community.

  24. Matt Westwood says:

    @Jeffrey Jones: Having spent quite a few years in a fair number of Arab nations (my most recent trip being to Jordan a few months back), I admit to a little bias when it comes to experiencing the nasty tribal stereotyping language you use.

    But the very word “thug” is fascist journalese for a member of a race you are trying to stereotype as violent and stupid. I trust your own experience of Muslim nations has been first hand, or have you gained your direct experience of Arabs via the Daily Mail?

  25. Matt Westwood says:

    Oh, and @Jeffrey Jones:: I *know* you are ignorant and stupid, because you’re too brainless even to be able to transcribe a person’s username correctly. Or were you deliberately trying to be insulting? Because if so, you’re an amateur.

  26. A Confused Atheist says:

    Although I am supporting the boycott of Israeli goods, these goods should stay Israeli and not just Jewish in general. Whilst I reject any validity of any of what these religions claim, I see that many Jews in the UK are most probably against what is going on in Palestine at the moment.