BDS– Lebanon style

ActivismIsrael/PalestineUS Politics
on 31 Comments
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Israeli produce in Spinneys, south Lebanon Jan. 1, 2013. (Photo:Mohammed Zaatari)

Imagine, federal authorities showing up when Israeli goods appear in the produce section! From The Daily Star:

A Lebanese shopper discovered several food items made in Israel in one of Lebanon’s largest retailers Tuesday.

While shopping at Spinneys in the coastal city of Sidon, a man, who preferred to remain anonymous, discovered a bag of three kinds of peppers made in Israel.

He immediately contacted local authorities who in turn contacted the Lebanese Army.

Members of military intelligence and police arrived to Spinneys to discover 13 similar bags that have the word “Israel” printed on the sale tag.

Police also noticed that the international bar code for the items was scratched with a blue pen and a new code was handwritten on the bag.

The case was then referred to the military judiciary for investigation into how the products made it through the customs department at the port or the airport.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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31 Responses

  1. Cliff
    January 6, 2013, 1:26 pm


  2. HarryLaw
    January 6, 2013, 2:28 pm

    Questions are being asked over products being imported into the UK from Ahava, Soda Stream, and The Golan Heights Winery, the first two manufacture products in the West Bank now officially Palestine,but give addresses in Israel proper the latter produce and bottle their wine in the Golan Heights and label their product with the false address as Katsrin , Israel, see UNSC resolution 497 [December 1981]. Under the country of origin principles of the World Trade rules and of the European Union and our own Trades Description Act 1968 UK, this part has not been repealed, consider a products origin as being where it was manufactured not where its head office is or where it was shipped from, see here… Prohibition of importation of certain goods. Section 16, Prohibition of importation of goods bearing false indication of origin. ” Where a false trade description is applied to any goods outside the United Kingdom and the false indication, or one of the false indications, given, or likely to be taken as given, thereby is an indication of the place of manufacture, production, processing or reconditioning of the goods or any part thereof, the goods shall not be imported into the United Kingdom”.
    Section 36, Country of origin. (1)For the purposes of this Act goods shall be deemed to have been manufactured or produced in the country in which they last underwent a treatment or process resulting in a substantial change. Section 16 refers to a trade description which is false to a “material degree” obviously, in the case of indicating Israel as the country of origin of these products is 100% false or 180 degrees out, In my opinion they are also all in breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, and various European Union Regulations which have mandatory “country of Origin” labels for certain products, this UK Regulation for instance ….the Cosmetic Products [safety] Regulations 2008,section 12 [1][a] goods manufactured outside the EEA must be labelled as to their country of origin, which would put AHAVA in breach of it.

  3. dimadok
    January 6, 2013, 2:31 pm

    Fools…. Military intelligence chasing peppers. Only in Lebanon- torn and paranoidal society.

    • Mndwss
      January 6, 2013, 4:01 pm

      A story of the most powerful army in the Middle East chasing 18 cows:

    • WeAreAllMadeOfStars
      January 6, 2013, 4:07 pm

      “Torn and paranoidal society” ahah such a lame comment coming from an expert in the matter of paranoia. You did not get your daily bucket of iced water dumped on your head* did you ?

      * adapted words from a skillful mondo-regular

    • amigo
      January 6, 2013, 4:09 pm

      Fools…. Military intelligence chasing peppers. Only in Lebanon- torn and paranoidal society.”dimadork.

      Dim-wit, you seem upset.Were those your peppers.

      As to being a paraoidal society.Perhaps it is blowing in from the South.

    • libra
      January 6, 2013, 6:03 pm

      dimadok, I’m no expert in these matters but a label in Lebanon saying “Yellow: Israel” looks to me like some sort of psyop. I wonder if Hezbollah have a hand in promoting this pepper-packaging propaganda?

    • sardelapasti
      January 6, 2013, 7:03 pm

      Only in Lebanon? Oh no. Watch the smoke, this is how people will implement the boycott in all of Europe. Then people will stop buying all over the place, even in Canada and God’s own country. Then you’ll be able to sell your stuff to Melanesia and Palau.

    • piotr
      January 6, 2013, 10:21 pm


      exactly the same would happen in Israel. Israeli customs are duly confiscating copies of Pinocchio if they were printed in Lebanon. And Border Police would make short work of Lebanese peppers.

    • thankgodimatheist
      January 7, 2013, 3:48 am

      “Fools…. Military intelligence chasing peppers.”
      Nope..Military intelligence chasing criminals trafficking in illegal produce from a country illegally occupying another Arab country.
      “torn and paranoidal society.”
      I’m sure you meant paranoid. Sounds like this very illegal entity referred to above.

    • Cliff
      January 7, 2013, 5:38 am

      Dimadok has no problem with the Israeli fascists who raid peace organizations against the occupation.

      Dimadok has no problem with the Israeli fascists who let Israeli settlers abuse and harass and kill Palestinians.

      Dimadok has no problem with the Israeli fascists who shoot tear gas canisters point-blank at Palestinians.

      Only in Israel.

  4. Miura
    January 6, 2013, 2:40 pm

    BDS is a way of life in most Arab and Islamic countries (or even in parts of India where Muslims are numerous as Rahul Gandhi found to his chagrin when campaigning on a platform of importing agricultural technologies from Israel). Of the two Muslim majority countries that have had diplomatic relations with Israel for decades, Turkey and Egypt, relations are so attenuated that there’s hardly any need for a boycott. Only 1 out of 50 persons in Turkey had a positive view of Israel in a BBC poll taken before Israeli commandos shot several Turkish citizens in the head to give a shot in the arm to their acceptance in the region. Egyptians’ boycott of Israel is so deep that Palestinians complain of having fewer visitors from Egypt since the ’79 Camp David agreement was signed than they did in the 50s. And American taxpayers have footed a bill in hundreds of billions of dollars of aid to Turkey and Egypt to get them to accord diplomatic recognition to Israel.

    • agatharchides
      January 6, 2013, 10:28 pm

      Sorry, the ESL teacher in me is kicking in, but shot to the arm actually means a boost, like a medical injection. If you mean that it hurt Turkey’s relationship with Israel, the term you are looking for is shot in the head. Apologies if you know that already and it’s a slip of the hand but I’m compulsive about these things. :)

      • Miura
        January 7, 2013, 12:08 am

        Do you ever get a chance to discuss concepts such as irony and sarcasm with your students?

        Turks would find it very hard to boycott Israeli goods because you won’t find any in Turkish supermarkets,” Mr. Carmon said.

        And this is the one country in the world that has a Muslim majority with which Israel has exchanged diplomats for a lifetime, yet it is virtually unanimously shunned by ordinary people without any official prodding.

  5. Taxi
    January 6, 2013, 3:22 pm

    Still chillin’ in the Levant, me. I’ve been to Spinneys in Sidon – a lot – in fact I was there just the other day! How surreal to find it on Mondoweiss! Wow! Foof! Okay.

    Now back to the Invasion Of The Israeli Peppers story – yeah I heard about it from the village cook yesterday – she saw it on the news, thought it was funny – Lebanese find the pairing of israel and a veggie in the same sentence a hilarious thing – my kinda goof!

    But by golly just imagine a conscientious American shopper tipping off the police and USA army intelligence units then go charging into Trader Joe’s to confiscate israeli goods and whatnot.

    Visualizing now…

    • Annie Robbins
      January 6, 2013, 3:55 pm

      I’ve been to Spinneys in Sidon – a lot – in fact I was there just the other day!

      i thought of you when drafting this Taxi!

      just imagine a conscientious American shopper tipping off the police and USA army intelligence units then go charging into Trader Joe’s to confiscate israeli goods and whatnot.

      la la la la la la our day will come!

  6. amigo
    January 6, 2013, 4:01 pm

    , individual action can make a difference.

    I managed to get three mid sized markets (30 staff )to quit putting Items with “produced in Israel” labels on their shelves as it turned out they were regularily mislabelled.

    Israel has a special trading status agreement with the EU that requires them to label items coming from “The Occupied State of Palestine” correctly.The miserly ammount they allow through, that is.

    I make no apologies about boycotting Israeli goods until they play by the rules.

  7. tokyobk
    January 6, 2013, 4:43 pm

    Creepy fascist fantasies, really.

    • Annie Robbins
      January 6, 2013, 5:23 pm

      well, nothing comparable to what we did to the holy land 5.

      • tokyobk
        January 6, 2013, 6:15 pm

        Yes, so why indulge fantasies of the State swooping in?

      • Annie Robbins
        January 6, 2013, 9:00 pm

        you mean the way we’ve outlawed dealing with syria or iran? you call that fascist? this is the way the US deals with people who break sanctions. you called it fascist. so explain why you think US policy is fascist.

        i don’t support putting people in jail for life. there’s no indication lebanon will do that.

      • tokyobk
        January 6, 2013, 9:35 pm

        I cannot see any circumstances outside of child-porn where I take glee at the idea of the state troopers swooping in to intervene in private commerce, including with Iran. The Syrian regime, probably, Cuba? Definitely not.

      • Annie Robbins
        January 6, 2013, 11:45 pm

        tokyobk, my belief is israel will keep tighting that noose until the US cuts israel off. BDS. and everyone will know about this not just a few people, but everyone. in my fantasy we’ve stopped all trade with israel so when someone sees something with israeli markings they know instinctively it’s illegal.

        so what do you do when you see something illegal that you don’t support? you call the police. just like what happened in lebanon. i probably got a little carried away.

        so let’s take the glee out of the picture for a minute. you do not agree the state should intervene with private commerce as it pertains to our foreign policy? who would enforce it?

      • Mooser
        January 7, 2013, 11:41 am

        “I cannot see any circumstances outside of child-porn where I take glee at the idea of the state troopers swooping in to intervene in private commerce,”

        Ever hear tell of something called Israel? Of course, the Jewish State has strict laissez-faire towards business and labor.
        tokyobk, why do you continually ignore the reality of Israel and Zionism? You are really making a fool of yourself. Next you’ll say you’re not-a-Zionist.

    • Taxi
      January 7, 2013, 6:40 am

      What’s creepy is your devotion to Apartheid tokyobk.

      • Mooser
        January 7, 2013, 11:47 am

        “What’s creepy is your devotion to Apartheid tokyobk.”

        What’s creepy, to me, is two things. One, how tokyobk can shut his mind down when it comes to Zionism and Israel. And even creepier, he expects us all to shut our minds down too.
        Oh well, as Shmuel was willing to stipulate the other day, this is what happens when a colonial project keeps a religion from moving into the modern era. But fer God’s sake, in the 21st Century?

        And just between you and me, Taxi, I am very, very alarmed by the feeling I get from so many people on this board, the feeling that they think that Jews cannot really fail in a serious tragic way, that somebody or something will be sure to pull our ass out of the fire. Must be those scars from the Holocaust I always hear about. I shouldn’t have said this, but it’s early and my filters aren’t working yet.

      • Taxi
        January 8, 2013, 6:45 am

        Ah yes, Mooser, the Infallible Jew theory. The Super Gene Elite. The Indestructible Children of Issac! Tokyobk has been educating us on these deep and esoteric subjects. And with no judaic cryptonite in sight he reckons – oh to be so moral and so immortal!

        How do ‘they’ do it?! And how come you’re jewish Mooser and ‘they’ haven’t let you in on their secret, the source of such god-like powers?!

        Probably cuz you’re associating with briny me and some other unsavory folks on mondo.

    • Woody Tanaka
      January 7, 2013, 11:56 am

      “Creepy fascist fantasies, really.”

      Really? That’s what you believe constitutes fascism? Enforcing a boycott of the enemy state?

  8. Avi_G.
    January 6, 2013, 5:25 pm

    The peppers probably got there via a third-party distributor.

    Incidentally, that’s how Israel purchases oil from Iran.

    • Shmuel
      January 7, 2013, 1:27 am

      Incidentally, that’s how Israel purchases oil from Iran.

      And pistachios.

  9. Dan Good
    January 8, 2013, 9:17 am

    Does anyone doubt there would be no investigation if Iranian pistachios were found in Walmart or some other outlet?

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