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April 9, 2014 2:54 pm

Iconic Zabar’s Market Rejects BDS Protesters at Shop Door; Will Continue Selling SodaStream

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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Zabar's, on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Photo: WikiCommons.

Zabar's, on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Photo: WikiCommons.

Saul Zabar, the co-owner of Zabar’s, New York City’s iconic Upper West Side market, told a group of protesters outside his store on Sunday that he didn’t bother responding to their requests for him to join their movement to boycott Israeli companies because he “didn’t think [they] were worth it.”

News of his rejection came from the protesters, themselves, according to their website, as flagged by blogger Elder of Ziyon on Wednesday.

“On Sunday, April 6, our first day of flyering outside Zabar’s, 94 people signed our petition asking Zabar’s to de-shelve SodaStream, including at least one Israeli who signed in Hebrew,” they wrote on their website. “At one point, owner Saul Zabar came out of the store. When asked why he did not respond to our request for a meeting, he responded, ‘I didn’t think you were worth it.’  He informed us that he will not be de-shelving SodaStream.”

The protesters were organized to leaflet Zabar’s by the international BDS movement, which argues for the boycott, divestment and sanctioning of Israeli companies, including SodaStream, which makes a home water carbonation system at a factory that employs hundreds of Palestinian Arabs.

The BDS movement targets Israeli-owned stores, university endowments that invest in Israel, or in companies that operate in Israel, and academics who disagree with their logic.

The original founder of Zabar’s, Louis Zabar, father of co-owners Saul and Stanley Zabar, emigrated to the U.S. from the Ukraine in the 1920s. His father, also a merchant, was brutally murdered in a pogrom, the type of vicious, causeless attacks fueled by anti-Semitism that were endured for generations by Jews, particularly shopkeepers who were easy targets of the violent gangs.

On Wednesday, Elder of Ziyon wrote: “Saul is about 85 years old now, gives to Jewish charities, and knows how to run his business. The likelihood that he would cave to a bunch of Israel haters handing out postcards filled with lies is pretty much zero.”

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  • Eduardo

    We support the zebar family 100% !!
    One more reason to shop there!!

  • Another Peter

    ‘I didn’t think you were worth it.’
    Sick irony that someone with his own family history would not think that supporting the human rights of others was “worth it”.

    • holybacon

      can you possibly provide specific facts to back up the typical propaganda line “supporting the human rights of others was “worth it”

    • zvi gross

      The Pals have tried the genocide the Jews time and time again, but you, dimwit, call it a “human right” How delusional can one be?

  • Larry

    Great effort to raise awareness of the boycott. Even though the story owner didn’t do the moral thing and pull the product, every action the BDS movement takes is worth the effort to raise awareness in America to the crimes of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

    • holybacon

      again – occupation? please. Israel and the Jews that live there were attacked by the combined arab armies and kicked their A** – as they will do forever until the messiah returns. But the FACT – something that your group for some reason doesn’t care to take into account- is that Israel was attacked, threatened wit genocide, not once, but 4 times – 48, 56, 67, 73 – and beat armies with 100x the force – and for some reason there are people in this country protected by the military force that they could never conceive of doing themselves – because they are effectively cowards (or terrorists, which are the worst cowards). So in 67, after kicking butt of the agressors, they took back what was taken from them originally by many people, most atrociously the Islamic caliphates in a defensive act. Should the US give back its land to the native americans? should texas give back its land to mexico? Oh wait, that would require you to get of your fat a**.

    • zvi gross

      So I guess to defend ones life and property considered immoral for a Jew. But it’s OK for Islam to call for A jewish genocide, and it was OK for Muslims to assist Hitler in his satanic goal to that effect.Google “Haj Amin el Husseini”.

  • naila malik

    shame on those people who are proudly supporting soda stream without realising the effect on poor Palestinian people I wish these people should visit palestine(what ever is left after Israel’s grabbing of land and illegal settlement)then i want to see there reaction.Poor Palestinian are treated like animals,they don’t have any RIGHTS Israel abuses human rights all the time.

    • holybacon

      what do you contribute to society that is so value added that gives you the right to judge this?

      you are a propagandist covering your hatred of jews in particular and non-muslims in general. you are indoctrinated (so in a way you cant help it) to hate infidels.

      Israel was attacked in 1967 by the combined arab armies who would most certainly committed horrific genocide as mulsims are taught to do especially int he middle east against jews and infidels.

      But guess what – good triumphs over evil.

    • zvi gross

      I guess God was very stingy when he gave you brains. It’s the Jews who feed the so called Pals, whether at Soda stream, or any construction site in Israel, and it’s Israel where the Pals export 99% of their products. I recommend Israel to boycott Palestine, and you will see it’s being empties from unemployed , starving Muslim beggars.

  • The reason people want to boycott SodaStream has nothing to do with the race or religion of the company’s owners… it is all about the fact that they have built a factory on land internationally recognized as not belonging to them, that the settlers and Palestinians who work at their factory drive on different roads, that Palestinians are suffering an economic blockade and other pressures like checkpoints and withholding of revenues that prevent them establishing companies like SodaStream. The accusations that BDS is anti-semite (led by Netanyahu) are distracting and baseless. BDS exists for the same reason boycotting South Africa existed. The injustice is clear to many ordinary people and that injustice is not being addressed by politicians. I respect Zabars right not to join the boycott, but I supoort BDS because I’m sick of Israel treating Palestinians with cruel injustice.

    • zvi gross

      I hope Israel will make you very sick over many more years of Israeli success and settlement of their ancient homeland!!!

  • Chris

    Way to Go Zabars! I am not Jewish but it’s obvious the soda steam hatters have nothing to to with equal rights and more about antisemitism. They should focus on saving the environment as Sodastream does not hatting others. I disclose I own a soda stream bought another for my office and another for my married daughter and two for Christmas gifts. People love it and the kids have fun making water into seltzer. Environment friendly healthy and fun! Stop with the hatting already !

    • zvi gross

      Wonderful comment, Chris

  • Mim

    One more reason to love Zabars!

  • Peter

    Good for the Zabars! Always shopped there when living in NYC; still do so when visiting. Nothing like their service and their lox and bagels late Saturday night for the next morning’s breakfast. Sein gesund!