Sweden: Co-ops reject call for Israel boycott

The three million member Swedish Cooperative Union (Kooperativa förbundet - KF) has rejected calls for a boycott of Israeli products.  The union, founded in 1899, is “historically closely tied to the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, LO, and to the Swedish Social Democratic Party,” according to one online source.

The federation was rejecting a proposal made by the Consumer Cooperative Society for Western Sweden.

According to this report on the “Sweden Israel and the Jews” website, “KF’s and Coop’s criteria in selecting suppliers pays no heed to nationality. According to KF policy a boycott of trade with individual countries is determined by Sweden’s government and parliament or the EU and/or the UN.”

However the Swedish English language news site The Local reports that the Western Sweden Co-op will continue to campaign for their BDS position.

” Three resolutions urging a ban on Israeli products were approved by a majority of the 425 members in attendance at Saturday’s annual meeting in Gothenburg of the consumer cooperative society for western Sweden, Konsumentföreningen Väst (KF Väst). The resolutions cited Israel’s role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as grounds for a boycott.

“The board will now push the issue of a boycott to the other Swedish consumer cooperatives,” chairperson Carina Malmer said in a statement reported by the Local.

The Sweden Israel and the Jews blog author writes, “It seems that the outcome of the meeting reflected not the position of the whole of Western Cooperative Society, but the radical politics of a few members who have a distorted anti-Israeli agenda. This shows yet again that small groups of Israeli hate-mongers try to smear Israel’s image. These extremists resort to dishonest and devious tactics to impose their political will on large organizations, which by a “Vast” majority, do not share their hateful agenda.”