British supporters of Israel helped provide for the needy while fighting the boycott on Israeli products.

Thousands of British shoppers heeded the call made by pro-Israel action groups to buy Israeli-made groceries for the needy during IsrAction Day – a “national grassroots campaign standing up for Israel and supporting your community.”

With the slogan “Beat the Boycotts – Help the Homeless,” Jewish and non-Jewish shoppers came together in pursuit of two goals: Helping the poor during the holiday season and breaking the boycott on Israeli products.

The British in general have been overwhelmingly anti-Israel, and the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel) movement has been very successful there. In this case, however, Israel’s supporters in England can boast a victory.

The special shopping day that was declared on Sunday was the initiative of grassroots groups Sussex Friends of Israel (SFI) in Brighton and the Manchester-based North West Friends of Israel (NWFoI), the Jewish Chronicle reports.

SFI executive member Fiona Sharpe told the Chronicle that support for the project was extraordinary. “It exceeded all our wildest expectations, and we have been stunned by the generosity shown across the country,” she said.

“In Brighton, we are such a small community, and I can’t believe the piles of food we actually accumulated,” Sharpe said. “People were working late into the night to sort it into boxes, and it has been sent to three local shelters and one soup kitchen.”

Thousands Benefit from the Project

In Manchester, where more than 600 people joined the venture, local organizer Raphi Bloom, co-chair of NWFoI, told the Chronicle: “We expect to be feeding hundreds of people as a result of the donations.”

Some criticized the effort by suggesting that Israeli products would be useless to the homeless, but Bloom responded to the ridiculous claims, stating: “People who were childish enough to suggest all we would be donating were hummus and Bamba can eat their words. We were inundated with the most sensible, long-lasting products that are going support and feed large numbers of people.”

In a Facebook message, Father Ian Tomlinson of the Central Manchester Food Bank expressed his gratitude to people who had given contributed to the project, saying: “We feed 75 people per week, so the food donated by IsrAction will go a long way to helping this year.”

By: United with Israel Staff
(With files from the Jewish Chronicle)

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