Busted: Former Chair of Major UK Israel Boycott Group Caught Buying Crack, Crystal Meth
The former chairman of a British consumer cooperative known for its aggressive boycotts of the Jewish state is at the center of a major controversy after being caught on camera buying illicit drugs.
In a video acquired by the Mail on Sunday, Paul Flowers was recorded discussing the cocaine and crystal meth he wants from a dealer. He then counts out £300 in £20 notes and sends a friend to make the deal.
Flowers was the Co-operative Group’s Bank Chairman from 2010 until May this year. In 2012, the group, the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer and its largest mutual business, announced it was “no longer engaging with any supplier of produce known to be sourcing from the Israeli settlements.” The Co-op Group was the first major European retailer to implement the policy.
At the time of the ban, the group Tweeted that “Neither Syria nor Saudi Arabia meet the criteria for a ban” under the organization’s Human Rights and Trade Policy – yet Israel did.
StandWithUs, an Israel advocacy group, alerted the public of the campaign to boycott Israel following its announcement in 2012. Among the people the organization urged activists to reach out to was Flowers, who was listed as the deputy chair of the board.
Flowers has also been a Methodist minister for 40 years and formerly chaired the Lifeline Project, an organization whose stated mission is to “work with individuals, families and communities both to prevent and reduce harm, to promote recovery, and to challenge the inequalities linked to alcohol and drug misuse.”