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Boycotts and protests directed at the Kedem store in Manchester

17 August 2014

The last few weeks have seen a significant number of protests on King Street, Manchester, outside the Kedem store. This is a store which sells cosmetics from Kedem, an international company whose website is https://kedemcosmetics.com/. The Manchester store has a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/kedemcosmetics

On 26 July 2014 the Manchester Evening News reported on the protests and related disruption https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/manchester-gaza-protest-israel-palestine-7512993. On 9 August 2014 the Manchester Evening News carried another report on protests against Kedem and other businesses https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/hundreds-protest-palestinian-israeli-supporters-7589123.

As this is a matter of concern to many residents of Greater Manchester, including many Muslims and Jews, we set out our views.

In a free society such as ours, every citizen is free to boycott produce from any foreign country, for whatever reason they wish. They are also free to communicate their boycott decision to their fellow citizens, including by peaceful protest. It is for each citizen to decide whether their boycott is likely to achieve their objectives, and to consider whether it is an appropriate course of action.

No citizen has the right to prevent others going about their lawful business. Accordingly any attempts by protesters to intimidate customers or staff of the Kedem store on King Street Manchester are wholly improper and almost certainly unlawful. Similarly, others should not attempt to intimidate protesters. We condemn such conduct unreservedly and call upon all protesters to obey the instructions of Greater Manchester Police with regard to the location of any protests and the numbers of protesters involved.

The protest and counter-protest outside Kedem together have not been helpful for community cohesion in Greater Manchester. We consider that a more appropriate way for people to engage with such issues would be through dialogue and discussion, which is facilitated by organisations such as the Forum for Discussion on Israel and Palestine (FODIP) https://www.fodip.org/.

We remind our fellow Mancunians of the following:

It is essential that we all be able to live together in harmony in Greater Manchester. That vital goal is perfectly consistent with the civil expression of one’s views about any domestic or foreign policy issues.

 

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Established to develop the cultural and social ties between the Muslim and Jewish Communities of Greater Manchester

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