Ahava's Israel labelling under investigation


By Robyn Rosen, The Jewish Cronicle

August 19, 2010

.....acts unlawfully by labelling its products "Made in Israel" when they are made in Mitzpe Shalem, an Israeli settlement on the West Bank.

 The London branch of Israeli cosmetics store Ahava is the subject of a probe by Camden Trading Standards after a complaint that it "mislabelled" its products as made in Israel.

Activists have held fortnightly demonstrations outside the Covent Garden store throughout the year, claiming that it acts unlawfully by labelling its products "Made in Israel" when they are made in Mitzpe Shalem, an Israeli settlement on the West Bank.

Last week, four demonstrators who chained themselves inside the store were acquitted after the key prosecution witness, the shop manager, did not show up to court to testify.

In June, seven anti-Israel activists were acquitted of damaging an arms factory after the judge told the jury at Lewes Crown Court that the group's leader should be awarded the George Cross for his campaign.

Now a leading barrister has said he fears the two recent acquittals will "embolden" anti-Israel protesters. Jonathan Goldberg QC said: "We face a very serious situation. The ancient common law defences of violence being justified, if for the greater good of protecting life and property, are being subverted by these sophisticated political agitators, with the connivance of woolly liberal judges like [George] Bathurst-Norman.

"This probably now needs legislation to redress the balance.

"There is reason to fear that the Ahava management were intimidated into not co-operating with the prosecution, and thus it is in a different but no less worrying category from Hove. All this will embolden these attackers of Israeli and Jewish property, failing a tough response from the authorities."

Jonathan Hoffman of the Zionist Federation, said: "The Hove and Ahava cases seem to have failed for different reasons. But there is a common thread: the failure of the CPS in the Ahava case, and the judge in the Hove case, to assert that Israel has acted completely legally."

Original article in: The Jewish Cronicle (19/08/10)

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