Conservative Members of Parliament have today slammed the decision by British supermarket Sainsbury’s to remove kosher food from its shelves during an anti-Israel demonstration this weekend.
As reported by Breitbart London, the Holborn branch of Sainsbury’s removed UK-made kosher goods from shelves with one member of staff telling a customer, “We support Free Gaza”.
Today, five Tory MPs condemned the actions and wrote to Sainsbury’s CEO Michael Cope condemning the branch’s approach to the protest.
David Burrowes MP said: “Sainsbury’s, whether at a local or national level, should not be seen to acquiesce to protests… How was the threat to the kosher food linked to the nearby protest about Israel? Was the link made by the store manager or was it a response to a direct threat from protesters to the kosher food?
“If the products had been Israeli would they have been removed as distinct from the Jewish products? The wider impact is significant and deleterious, with the store being seen to submit to anti-Semitism or worse make an anti-Semitic response to protests, and Sainsbury’s needs to make clear that this reaction will not take place again.”
The condemnation may be slightly awkward for the Tory Party as the company president, Lord Sainsbury of Preston, is both a Conservative Member of the House of Lords and a Tory Party donor.
Andrew Percy MP said: “[Sainsbury’s] should never have given in to thugs and bullies and the correct response would have been to call the police in to remove the protesters, rather than remove the Kosher products. The message this sends is that Kosher food and their Jewish buyers either have to be hidden from view or that there is something sinister about these products. I find it unbelievable that in the 21st century United Kingdom, a major retail store has to hide away Jewish products because of a fear of protesters. It is a very sad day for Sainsbury’s and for the UK.”
Sainsbury’s distanced itself from the move earlier this week, claiming that the response was in error. However, hundreds of social media users have already claimed that the damage was done, and that the move, broadly construed as anti-Semitic, would cause them to never shop at Sainsbury’s again.