UK dept. store warns of action over anti-Israel campaign

British chain John Lewis threatens further action after Palestinian Solidarity Campaign fabricates claim they stopped carrying Ahava products.

January 26, 2011 03:29
2 minute read.
John Lewis

john lewis 311. (photo credit: courtesy)


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LONDON – British department store John Lewis has warned an anti-Israel campaign group that it will take further action if it continues to fabricate a falsehood that the store is boycotting Israeli cosmetic products.

Earlier this month, the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC) claimed that John Lewis, the award-winning British retailer, had stopped stocking Ahava products on account of representations made by the radical fringe group.

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British retailer denies boycotting Israeli cosmetics
Pro-Palestinian activists blockade Ahava store in London

“Ahava’s goods, processed on stolen Palestinian land, are becoming too hot to handle. Leading British retail business John Lewis is now refusing to stock this toxic brand,” claimed the PSC, a radical fringe group that supports Hamas, the boycott of Israel and a one-state solution.

John Lewis emphatically denied the charge, accusing the PSC of creating “false and misleading” information.

A spokesman for the retail giant said it had stopped stocking Ahava products in 2008, a number of years before PSC made any claims, on account of performance levels and that it was purely a commercial decision. It added that it still stocked Israeli goods and would continue to do so.

“The Ahava range was deleted at the end of 2008,” a John Lewis spokesman told The Jerusalem Post. “I have seen the sales figures report and can absolutely corroborate this. There were a few sales of products in 2009-10 but these were reduced residues selling through.”

This week, John Lewis wrote to the PSC for the second time after the group again included the story in its weekly email newsletter. The John Lewis spokesman told the Post that it has been very clear that the group was misleading and misquoting.

“We have written to the PSC pointing out the facts regarding Ahava and have followed this up, expecting the PSC to stop distributing the original article of 14th January, which contains ‘quotes’ which are false and misleading.”

“We have stated how disappointed we are that John Lewis’s decisions, which were for purely commercial reasons back in 2008, have been used out of context by the PSC,” the spokesman added.

The spokesman said that it would take further action if the PSC continued to distribute the story.

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