The Shmooze

In Israeli Food News...

By Nathan Jeffay

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Is the campaign to boycott settlement produce about to take its toll on one of the world’s best-known heimishe food firms? According to a report in Israeli daily Maariv yesterday, Beigel-Beigel plans to move its Israeli production plant from Barkan, an industrial zone next to the West Bank settlement of Ariel, to a location within Israel’s pre-1967 borders.

The news comes as the founding family of Beigel-Beigel, which started producing pretzels in Poland in 1880 and came to the Middle East with a factory in British Mandate Palestine in 1933, is in the middle of a deal to sell its controlling share of the company to minor-shareholder Unilever Israel. According to the press report, the 140-employee Barkan plant will move once the sale is complete; the plan is, at least in part, motivated by political factors.

Food and politics intersect in another development in the West Bank. Olive harvest is upon us, and residents of the Palestinian town of Wadi a-Rasha cannot access their groves because they are on the other side of the security barrier. They say that 98 requests to the Israeli authorities to enable them to harvest have been denied, and have asked the High Court to step in. Read more at Ynet.


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