THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch branch of the German supermarket chain
Aldi has backtracked from its stated policy of boycotting products made by
Israelis in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan.
“Aldi would like
to emphatically state that it does not boycott products from the occupied
territories,” a spokesperson for Aldi’s Dutch branch wrote on Monday to the
Center for Information and Documentation on Israel — CIDI — a Dutch pro-Israel
The spokesperson, Laetitia F. Gruwel, wrote in a letter to
CIDI Director Esther Voet that “Aldi is not engaged in political or religious
issues.” Aldi has stores in 16 European countries, as well as in the United
States and Australia.
On Friday, an unnamed Aldi spokesperson confirmed
to the Dutch daily Trouw that Aldi’s Dutch branch has a policy of boycotting
goods from Israeli settlements, which the European Union considers
The spokesperson told Trouw that Aldi remains committed to its
policy as outlined in a report from April entitled “Dutch Economic Links with
the Occupation,” which was commissioned by several Dutch organizations that are
critical of Israel.
The report said that the Dutch subsidiary of Aldi
informed the report’s authors “that it does not want to sell products from
Israeli settlements in occupied territories and also has informed its suppliers
about this policy.”
On Monday, Gruwel did not deny that Aldi made a
statement to that effect but said it was “incorrect information.” Currently,
Aldi does not offer any products from areas which the European Union considers
illegal settlements, Trouw reported.
According to Trouw, two other
supermarket chains operating in the Netherlands, Hoogevliet and Jumbo, have a
said they are boycotting settlement products.
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