The Shmooze

Facebook Revolutions: The Great Israeli Cottage Cheese Boycott?

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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While the Arabs are organizing historic political uprisings on Facebook, Israelis are using the social networking website to protest the high price of cottage cheese.

Fed up with the nearly NIS 8 price for a 250 g container of the popular dairy food (it accounts for 28% of all cheese sales in Israel), consumer groups set up two Facebook pages to protest the regular price increases on the product that have been taking place in the past half year — going so far as to urge people to boycott cottage cheese for an entire month. These Facebook groups have garnered thousands of “friends” in just a few days.

Emotions are running so high over this issue that MK Ronit Tirosh of the Kadima party presented Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a “gift” of a package of cottage cheese at a special Knesset meeting today organized by the opposition under the title of “The failure of the Netanyahu government in political, economic, and social sectors.” Tirosh stressed that the Prime Minister should most definitely consider the cottage cheese a “gift,” because it has become so expensive.

Rami Levi, owner of a discount supermarket chain bearing his name, announced that he was slashing cottage cheese prices to NIS 4.90 per 250 gram container until Sunday. He said he hopes that other food chain owners will also lower their prices for the commodity. It would seem that Levi is identifying with the public’s pain in an attempt to avert the greater hurt that would be caused him by a month-long boycott.

All this over some lumpy cheese? If you have ever seen the huge cottage cheese ad welcoming travelers home at Ben-Gurion International Airport, then you know there is no way that Israelis are going to back down about their curds and whey.


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