I see George Galloway’s call to anti-Israel protestors to “shut down Israel’s shops”* on Saturday didn’t just result in the entirely British-owned Marks & Spencer being targeted by activists.
In London, during the protest, it seems that that well-known Israeli shop Starbucks was attacked.
The Chief Executive and Chairman of Starbucks is a US citizen, Howard Schultz, who just happens to be Jewish.
I wonder how long before someone will decide the corollary to Mr Galloway’s “Israeli shops” is “Israeli people” or British people as some us like to call them. Some people would say this is already happening.
* Galloway has subsequently got a lackey to mount a somewhat baroque defence of his words, perhaps with an eye on the DPP and incitement laws:
“The piece on page nine of the print edition of today’s Observer, and online, reporting yesterday’s pro-Palestinian demonstration in London unfortunately includes a damaging misreport of comments made by George Galloway MP.
“The par reads: ‘In one of several speeches delivered in Kensington Gardens, George Galloway, leftwing MP for the Respect party, called on protesters to go to shopping centres and “shut down Israel’s shops” in what was believed to be a reference to retailers, including Marks & Spencer, which have come under fire for selling Israeli-sourced goods.’
“1) The quote attributed is wrong. Mr Galloway spoke of “Israel shops”. The language is precise. There are in the two shopping malls he mentioned mobile retailers called “Israel Shops”, which are staffed by Israelis and promote Israeli/West Bank goods – Dead Sea skin products etc. Mr Galloway was being extremely careful to focus his comments precisely.
“2) Not only did Mr Galloway not intend to refer generally to retailers, he is on film the night before speaking in the London Muslim Centre explicitly and categorically stating that Marks & Spencer should NOT be boycotted, explaining that it is a public company owned by shareholders like any other and has nothing to do with Israel.
“This is a very sensitive area, where innuendo and mishearing can have dangerous consequences. (It is highly regrettable that the reporters seek to explicate what they think Mr Galloway meant by passively referring to what unnamed people might believe, in fact groundlessly given the misquote.)
“We are insisting on an immediate online correction to the story and a suitably prominent correction in the next edition of the Observer. In our view, this piece can be easily read to impute motives and beliefs to Mr Galloway which, if they were true, would be considered reprehensible by the right thinking public. They are not true.”
So Galloway was simply referring to a couple of stalls in local shopping centres? You can believe it or not. Judge for yourself at about 2.45: