BDS Boomerang: Anti-Israel activist triggers Dutch run on Israeli wine

Anti-Israeli activist’s tweet calling out a supermarket for stocking Israeli wine leads to massive sales.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Israel supporters claimed a resounding victory over the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement Wednesday as a Dutch anti-Israel activist’s plan to pressure a supermarket to take an Israeli wine off its shelves led to the bottles flying off – straight to consumers’ homes.

BDS activist Mieke Zagt took to Twitter Monday to ask Hema, one of the largest supermarket chains in the country, why it was selling Efrat wine from “the Judean Hills.”

“Is this possible? Efrat and Judean Hills are in occupied Palestinian land. Efrat is an illegal Israeli colony. Can you verify the origin? #hema #notAgainAye!??,” Zagt wrote, attaching a picture of the bottles.

Zagt was factually inaccurate on a number of counts. Despite the wine’s name, it’s produced well within the original 1949 boundaries of the State of Israel, which the vast majority of countries, including the E.U., does not consider disputed territory.

Several pro-Israel activists took up the BDS supporter’s challenge and tweeted out a call to buy the wine, along with the hashtag #TipFromMieke and #BDSFail.

Read  Helen Mirren: Israel must last forever

Hidde J. van Koningsveld, of the Center for Information and Documentation Israel, a Holland-based group that defends the Jewish State and tracks anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands, posted the web address of the supermarket chain so consumers could check which stores still had the wine in stock.

Within hours on Tuesday, both the red and white varieties of the wine were sold out from Hema’s online store, as it became the top story on Dutch Twitter.

The campaign received a boost when the story made the front page of the largest Dutch daily De Telegraaf.  Under the title “Run on Hema Wine Thanks to #tipvanMieke,” it included pictures of various Dutch personalities with the wine they’d bought, such as Damien Zeller, a municipal councilor in the Hague.

It received an additional boost when Christians for Israel, an international group based outside Amsterdam, asked on their website and Facebook page for their thousands of supporters to specifically go and buy the Efrat wines.

Yanki Jacobs, a Chabad rabbi in the Dutch capital who leads the Jewish outreach organization’s activities on college campuses, said he was “delighted” with the results of the Twitter campaign. “It is a pleasure to see, just a few days after Purim, that something bad turns into something good,” he told JTA.

Read  UK Parliament weighs anti-BDS bill as Jewish groups voice support

Zagt, however, was more than a little displeased at the unintended outcome of her tweet, and whined that those mocking her were engaged in “intimidation and defamation.”