British supermarket removes kosher products during protest

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — A branch of a popular British supermarket chain removed kosher items from its shelves over fears of attacks by anti-Israel protesters.

The Sainsbury’s branch in Holborn in central London emptied its kosher section on Saturday as anti-Israel protesters demonstrated outside of the store, the Guardian reported on Sunday.

The protest occurred at the same time as protesters at a Tesco supermarket in Hodge Hill, Birmingham, entered the store and began throwing Israeli food products on the floor.

The food removed from the shelves at Sainsbury’s was kosher, and not necessarily Israeli in origin. Some of it was manufactured in the United Kingdom and Poland, according to the Guardian.

In response to complaints by customers on its Facebook page, which accused the company of racism against Jews, Sainsbury’s apologized “for any inconvenience or offense caused,” saying the decision was made in the one store “as a precautionary measure during a demonstration close by” and that the products were returned to the shelves “as soon as was practically possible.”

“As a non-political organization, Sainsbury’s would never take such a decision on grounds other than ensuring the quality or safety of our products,” the statement said,