ZOA calls for Pessah boycott on Coke

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

coca cola crates 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
coca cola crates 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
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.