N.Y. Activists: Siege on Gaza Isn't Sweet, Boycott Max Brenner

Six activists drape banner from Israeli-owned cafe at Union Square; say Israel bans chocolate importation into Gaza.

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Six activists on Friday hoisted a banner from the Max Brenner chocolate store in Manhattan's Union Square, calling on New Yorkers to boycott the Israeli–owned business over Israel's siege on the Gaza Strip.

"The siege on Gaza isn't sweet: Boycott Max Brenner," the banner read.

Chocolate dish served at Max Brenner cafe. Credit: Nir Keidar

In a statement, activists said that Israel had banned imports of sweets and chocolates into Gaza since Hamas militants siezed power there in 2007.

One activist said that while the alleged chocolate ban in Gaza was not an egregious human rights violation, it still illustrated the absurdity of the siege.

Earlier, over 200 activists marched through Times Square to demonstrate against Israel's declared decision to stop the 'Freedom Flotilla' - a convoy of protesters set to leave Cyprus on Saturday in an attempt to deliver aid to to Gaza.

Over the past year several organizations in both the United States and Europe have urged an economic embargo on Israel until the siege is lifted.

Last week, two Italian supermarkets announced plans to stop selling all Israeli products, saying they could not differentiate between produce from West Bank settlements and goods manufactured on Israeli soverign territory inside the Green Line.

Italian grocery chains Coop Italia and Nordiconad will remove all Israeli products from their shelves by the end of the month, according to the website of Stop Camel-Agrexco - an Italian based coalition that campaigns for a boycott on one of Israel's top agricultural exporters.

In a statement, Coop Italia cited problems with traceability.

"The consumer is unable to verify whether or not the product in question comes from the occupied territories," it said.



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