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In Australia, BDS is already facing a legal challenge as the Israel Law Center moves to prove it is a racist entity.

The South Africa-based Woolworths retail chain is threatening to sue the Boycott, Divest and Sanction group over customer and staff safety.

“Our employees, of all faiths and cultures, are telling us that they are feeling increasingly threatened by the protests,” Woolworths spokesman Babs Diamini said this week, according to South Africa’s Times Live.

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“What’s more, the families of our employees have reported being abused and sworn at by BDS. If this continues we will consider taking further precautions, including legal action against the individuals involved,” Diamini said.

Just as BDS has the right to protest, said Diamini, the chain’s employees have the right to work, and its customers have the right to shop without being intimidated.

She added that it is not clear why Woolworths is being targeted and other major corporations are not, because “more than 95 percent of our food is sourced locally [and] the government continues to authorize trade with Israel.”

Other companies with ties to Israel include Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Danone, Nestle and Motorola. But BDS activist Mohammed Desai made it clear the movement would stay focused on Woolworths, acknowledging the group could not tackle every target at once.

“For now, Woolworths is our target. They are making a grave mistake by ignoring us and if we go to all those retailers our campaign will be diluted.”

BDS activists have demonstrated at more than 40 protests targeting Woolworths around South Africa. The group says it plans to raise the pressure at the retail giant’s annual general meeting on November 26.

Woolworths Holdings Limited is a South African chain of retail stores and one of the largest in the country, modeled on Marks & Spencer of the United Kingdom. The Woolworths brand incorporates a series of food stores, some of which are attached to department stores, while others stand alone or are attached to Engen petrol stations in prosperous urban areas. Some branches include an in-store restaurant, branded as “Cafe W”. Woolworths goods are sold at 149 corporate stores, 51 international franchise stores throughout the rest of Africa and the Middle East and 69 South African franchise stores nationwide. The chain was named after the United States chain F. W. Woolworth Company but, because of the contemporary trademark laws, the name was legally used without permission. No financial connection ever existed between the companies.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

101 COMMENTS

  1. A friend once gave his girlfriend an ultimatum that she not see an old friend without him along. I warned him not o make a big deal of it, but he did, and they broke it off. My point here is that sometimes you paint people into a corner, and instead of staying there, they will just walk across the floor and flip you off. BDS is that way too. They are bothersome, like ants at a picnic, mostly ignored. They are aware they can be "diluted" by taking on more than one entity at a time. But, one day, people will just tell them to off.

  2. Does Mohammed Desai condone the beheading of innocent people by ISIS? He should rather stop wasting his time on BDS and voice his revulsion of these acts of murdering terrorists!!

  3. If Mohammed Desai is so anti-Israel I hope he will throw away his cell phone, his laptop and not go for many medical procedures, most of which are Israeli discoveries. There are NO virgins for martyrs in Heaven. Only Satan awaits you Desai.

  4. Woolworths could not fight their way out of a aper packet. It is clear from the load of codswaddle in this article that they make everything up as they drift along. If they have evidence of intimidation then they should act.

  5. I will now buy much more from woolies ….!Standing squarely against the racist intimidation of BDS will only bring Woolworths more revenue.I choose now to shop at Woolworths. Thank you for your stand against the glaring and deceitful injustice of BDS.

  6. Trevor Wells my two daughter were harassed by BDS outside Woolworths. So please if you are on this site to defend BDS please do us a favour and put your money where your mouth is and give up your laptop, cell phone, a stent if you have heart attack etc….too many Israeli inventions to mention or shut up and POff.

  7. If Mohammed Desai is so anti-Israel I hope he will throw away his cell phone, his laptop and not go for many medical procedures, most of which are Israeli discoveries. There are NO virgins for martyrs in Heaven. Only Satan awaits you Desai.

  8. Fighting talk, Debbie! Please forward details of your daughters’ harassment outside Woolworths to me (at 0823496018) as I am certain SALFI (South African Lawyers For Israel) would be interested in looking into the matter. David Abel, SALFI Facilitator.

  9. It is extremely difficult dealing with irrasional mindless people who are motivated by unfunded inbred hate. There are no winners but only losers in this case. We also lose the chance of a meaningful discussion to set our differences aside. Thank you Woolworths for taking this action. I support you.

  10. I will now buy much more from woolies ….!Standing squarely against the racist intimidation of BDS will only bring Woolworths more revenue.I choose now to shop at Woolworths. Thank you for your stand against the glaring and deceitful injustice of BDS.

  11. Trevor Wells my two daughter were harassed by BDS outside Woolworths. So please if you are on this site to defend BDS please do us a favour and put your money where your mouth is and give up your laptop, cell phone, a stent if you have heart attack etc….too many Israeli inventions to mention or shut up and POff.

  12. Fighting talk, Debbie! Please forward details of your daughters' harassment outside Woolworths to me (at 0823496018) as I am certain SALFI (South African Lawyers For Israel) would be interested in looking into the matter. David Abel, SALFI Facilitator.

  13. It is extremely difficult dealing with irrasional mindless people who are motivated by unfunded inbred hate. There are no winners but only losers in this case. We also lose the chance of a meaningful discussion to set our differences aside. Thank you Woolworths for taking this action. I support you.

  14. Perfect example to how hypocrite they are,. BDS still go to McDonald buy coca cola etc.. I am sure they take Teva medication and use may Israeli products whenever it suits them, Unfortunately along the way they hurt the people they are trying to “help” . The first one to lose jobs in Israel are the Palestinians…

  15. Funny use of language. BDS is gong after Woolworth as long as Woolworth “ignores” them, but Woolworths just told them to back the Eff off. BDS is so full of themselves. What a bunch of frigging LOSERS.

  16. Funny use of language. BDS is gong after Woolworth as long as Woolworth "ignores" them, but Woolworths just told them to back the Eff off. BDS is so full of themselves. What a bunch of frigging LOSERS.

  17. As many here have said, many BDS lowlife thugs are simply ignorant about Israel and the ME; but many of them know exactly what’s going on, and that’s what makes them spit in rage: they see a successful Israel, and are furious that mere Jews have the chutzpah to have a state: whatever next????? So they spew their Jew-hatred in impotent rage.

  18. As many here have said, many BDS lowlife thugs are simply ignorant about Israel and the ME; but many of them know exactly what's going on, and that's what makes them spit in rage: they see a successful Israel, and are furious that mere Jews have the chutzpah to have a state: whatever next????? So they spew their Jew-hatred in impotent rage.

  19. The root of BDS and anti-Semitism in general is JEALOUSY! What other young country, starting with nothing but dessert and leftovers from the second world war, faced by hostile, warring “neighbors,” created a modern productive State? Meanwhile, what has the Arab states produced? Nothing but terrorism. ENVY + PRIMITIISM = BDS.

  20. Andy Marcus Dear Mr. Marcus, it appears you did not understand my comment or did not read the article. The South Africans had been discriminated against for many years. Now they are trying to discriminate against Jewish owned or Israeli based companies. I don’t appreciate being called a “stupid liar” in any event. What part of my comment is a lie? Surely you can make a comment without being derrogatory.

  21. the sign says the world must stop Israel. why is one little country, the size of New Jersey, such a threat? They are just plain anti-Semites hiding behind mobs of stupid people. when will the world realize that it is not just Jews they want to be rid of. It’s all non-Islam people. those poor guys being beheaded are not Israelis or Jews and that poor soldier in London who was butchered by some stupid maniac in the name of Islam just because he was not a Muslim.
    Good for Woolworth, don’t let them intimidate you. Fight back and they will fun and perhaps crawl back under the rock that they crawled out from.

  22. The root of BDS and anti-Semitism in general is JEALOUSY! What other young country, starting with nothing but dessert and leftovers from the second world war, faced by hostile, warring "neighbors," created a modern productive State? Meanwhile, what has the Arab states produced? Nothing but terrorism. ENVY + PRIMITIISM = BDS.

  23. Andy Marcus Dear Mr. Marcus, it appears you did not understand my comment or did not read the article. The South Africans had been discriminated against for many years. Now they are trying to discriminate against Jewish owned or Israeli based companies. I don't appreciate being called a "stupid liar" in any event. What part of my comment is a lie? Surely you can make a comment without being derrogatory.

  24. the sign says the world must stop Israel. why is one little country, the size of New Jersey, such a threat? They are just plain anti-Semites hiding behind mobs of stupid people. when will the world realize that it is not just Jews they want to be rid of. It's all non-Islam people. those poor guys being beheaded are not Israelis or Jews and that poor soldier in London who was butchered by some stupid maniac in the name of Islam just because he was not a Muslim.
    Good for Woolworth, don't let them intimidate you. Fight back and they will fun and perhaps crawl back under the rock that they crawled out from.

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