ZOA calls for Pessah boycott on Coke

Jewish group wants drink embargoed over Egyptian family's home that was illegally bought by company.

By ALLISON HOFFMAN, THE JERUSALEM POST, NEW YORK
April 7, 2009 20:04
1 minute read.
ZOA calls for Pessah boycott on Coke

coca cola crates 248.88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The Zionist Organization of America renewed its call Tuesday for a boycott of Coca-Cola products during Pessah on behalf of an Egyptian Jewish family that is suing the company over a property dispute. Members of the Bigio family, now living in the US, are demanding compensation from the soft-drink giant, based in Atlanta, for bottling plants they say were expropriated by the Egyptian government in 1965 and illegitimately bought by the Coca-Cola Company in 1994. The family, which sued in 1997 in US federal court, failed to reach a settlement with Coca-Cola in mediation talks that ended in March, according to its attorney, Nathan Lewin, who claimed the company had not offered a cash settlement to the Bigios. "The Jewish public should boycott Coca-Cola products until Coca-Cola acts fairly and ethically and rights the wrong against the Bigios," Lewin, a ZOA board member, said in a statement. Coca-Cola did not respond to phone and e-mail requests from The Jerusalem Post seeking comment on the case. ZOA specifically called for a boycott of the company's kosher-for-Pessah drinks, which are also popular with connoisseurs because they are sweetened with real sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. "Coca-Cola may have a rabbinic hechsher for Passover, but it cannot get a hechsher for its immoral and unethical behavior," said ZOA president Morton Klein. ZOA previously called for a boycott in 2007, and also protested outside the Coca-Cola Company's annual shareholders' meeting in 2008.

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