More than 30 wide-ranging South African civil society and religious organizations, trade unions, and political parties have come together under the banner of the National Coalition 4 Palestine (NC4P) in calling for a full boycott of Woolworths. NC4P affiliates include the ANC Youth League, Muslim Judicial Council, Kairos South Africa, Cosatu, Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, the South African Communist Party and others.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, the organisations said it supported the call by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to boycott all companies trading with the state of Israel. The NC4P has therefore issued a nationwide directive to effect an immediate boycott of all Woolworths stores in South Africa.
The boycott has also been felt on Twitter, with the hashtag #boycottwoolworths trending since Wednesday. Many users have been flooding Woolworths with tweets, urging it to stop stocking Israeli made goods.
“The call to boycott is due to Woolworths’ unwavering support for the Apartheid State of Israel, and comes after much research and assessment of the status and level of trade between the chain store and the Israeli state,” the NC4P said.
“Woolworths has refused to remove Israeli products from their stores. The proceeds from the sale of Israeli goods funds war crimes against Palestinians. NC4P calls on all South Africans to peacefully picket at all Woolworths stores in South Africa.”
Woolworths acknowledges that only 0.1 percent of its trade is with Israel. The NC4P said the boycott will prove that the wishes of peace-loving people of South Africa should be dearer to Woolworths than its current trade relations with an oppressive colonial state.
“We call on the directors and shareholders of Woolworths to heed the call of the freedom loving South Africans and the uneasiness of their staff and end all business dealings with Israel.”
The collective also endorses the BDS movement of South Africa in its strategic campaign that includes a boycott against G4S Security, Dead Sea Products and Soda Stream. The NC4P said it would be issuing further directives to the community following research and assessment of other companies in South Africa trading unashamedly with the warmongering state of Israel.
The boycott comes in the wake of Israel’s brutal four week military assault in Gaza, which has killed more than 1800 Palestinians.
“We stand in solidarity and in support of justice, equality and freedom for the Palestinian people. We oppose, in the strongest terms, the military invasion of the Gaza Strip and the ongoing Apartheid practices of the Israeli state.” VOC