Trader Joe’s in San Francisco being vandalized. Will TJ’s press charges? Should they draw more attention to these folks or should they let this fade away.

It is surprising that the store employees didn’t defend their products. These hooligans march into their store and the employees sit so passively as if it was normal. Can you imagine if these product progromists walked into a Chaldean owned 7/11 in Detroit and pulled this stunt? They would be crushed by baseball bats.

Can you imagine if they walked into a mom and pop store selling Israeli oranges in Koreatown in LA? They would be running for cover from shotgun blasts.

I guess in SF the store employees were alerted to be passive and not risk anything. Basically they were doing what they were told.

But why didn’t anyone else do anything? If they marched into our TJ’s first off they would have to deal with Dale, who would have punched out their lights. Then they would have had to deal with shopping carts whizzing in their direction being flung by angry grandmas. Perhaps a rack of cereal might have accidently fallen on their heads?

Not that I am in any way at all advocating any violence. I am just saying that this was a shocking assault and these product progromists picked their TJ target very well. If they had pulled this vandalism somewhere else, they would not have such pretty pictures, the camera would likely have been smashed.

Hat tip to Scott Jacobs

About the author

Rabbi Yonah


  • Pardon my French, but these idiots are some real mother f*ckers. How come I’m never lucky enough to run into people like this? I couldn’t imagine a better way to take out my daily anger, than to engage these fools in public, and make them look like the idiots they are. Do they not realize that when they purchase all of those products (if they don’t, it’s videotaped theft), that the sales on Trader Joe’s books make it look like Israeli products are selling like hotcakes, thus encouraging Trader Joe’s to buy even more? Probably not, otherwise they wouldn’t be supporting Palestinian terrorists and using double standards. I bet they voted for McCain too.

  • All truly fair-minded people should buy Israeli products from this Trader Joes. But it is San Francisco after all. A bastion of freaks like you will never find in any other part of the world.

  • How nice of them to point out the products made in Israel so that I can be sure to purchase them in the future!

  • It seems Trader Joe’s needs to train its staff to call the police on these folks just as they would a typical shoplifter. If they let these people out of the store without paying for that product, they are permitting a crime. I’m also not sure why they wold permit people to deface and de-shelve products without any consequences and especially while a camera is rolling.

    Our family spends a lot of money at Trader Joe’s. We basically use the store as an alternative to the supermarket. That means everything including milk and cheese and bread to their olive oil, sauces, frozen foods, wines, veggies and pastas, couscous and rice. I’ll bet we spend 50% of our food budget, exclusive of restaurants, at Trader Joe’s. Israeli products are among the products we buy there but I wasn’t buying them because of a mission. Now I intend to buy some of these products on every shopping trip to TJs.

    I hope Trader Joe’s ignores these people with their false assertions and self-righteous twaddle. If they stop carrying Israeli products after all this time, I will have to assume it’s support for this campaign. In that case I will find other shopping outlets for my family.

  • So I don’t have to watch that disgusting video, can someone tell me what products were being pointed out and pilfered? I have an itch to spend. Then again, the Pittsburgh Trader Joe’s is kinda small and may not carry this stuff.

  • I frequent this Oakland Trader Joe’s and find it’s a real hot spot for people looking for signatures for causes and legislation so it’s not unusual for this kind of political action to happen. I agree taking the food and leaving it out is wasteful and vandalism but I’m appalled by the violence and apartheid Israel has imposed. There are alternatives to violence and extremist terrorist threats. Look into spiritual progressives, a jewish look on how to peacefully deal with these types of issues. Check out and rabbi Michael Lerner’s articles in Tikkun Magazine. This site tends to get defensive and racist.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Deborah. In the future, should you ever find that this site is being racist, then please by all means point out the specific instance of racism. It’s far more effective than making blanket accusations. As a North African Jew living in the “Apartheid” state of Israel, I reside in a neighborhood where my neighbors are Arabs, Sri Lankans, Phillipinos, Ethiopians and Jews of Middle Eastern descent. There aren’t enough self righteous and entitled white folks around for me to be made acutely aware of the pernicious racism and Apartheid that must surely be ubiquitously present. Thank you so much for gracing me with your keen understanding of race issues and your intimate knowledge of the malignancies inherent to Israeli society acquired from your comfortable perch in NorCal. And yes, vandalism is wrong and wasting food is very, very bad. Have a great weekend Deborah!

  • Oh Deborah…. “This site tends to get defensive and racist”. I haven’t seen anything racist here, would you care to point out where is the racism? I think being defensive after seeing this video is just sign that I still have a pulse.

  • There are alternatives to violence and extremist terrorist threats. Look into spiritual progressives, a jewish look on how to peacefully deal with these types of issues.

    Indeed. For example, there was the peaceful alternative peace offer by Israel in 2000 that was met with a pre-planned war by the Palestinians. Then there was the peaceful alternative offered in Taba in 2001 which again was met with more fighting and especially lots of suicide bombings. Then there was the peace offer and offer of a state – real peaceful alternatives, you see – offered in 2008 where the Israelis even offered to internationalize the holy basin in Jerusalem. Fortunately, that time, they just had to deal with Hamas violence, so Abbas merely said “no” to the offer but there were no significant attacks from his side of the potential Palestinian entity.

    And next time you read Rabbi Lerner, ask him what it was like when ANSWER didn’t let him go on a stage because he was a Zionist. That was one heck of a spiritually progressive moment, I’m sure.

  • I’ve seen an orange/grenade before. It was an racist flyer urging Jews to boycott Arab produce. Maybe it was a tomato, not an orange, it’s been a while and I haven’t found a copy online.

    Note that I’m not saying that N wrongs make a right. The sum of wrongs is a bigger wrong. Nor am I saying that the earlier flyer justifies the charges made by these protesters. I just think it’s funny that extremists on both sides used such similar images.

    It’s too bad that there wasn’t a translation error, resulting in an image of a combined orange and pomegranate, the tequila sunrise fruit.

  • Warren, can you provide us with the “racist flyer” urging such a boycott? Were the extremist Jews trying to end Arab apartheid?

  • I love the part where, at ~ 2:00, the kaffiyeh-wearing headmistress claims that Israeli policies violate not only human rights, but also THE ENVIRONMENT! Did I miss the report about Israeli soldiers cutting down trees in Palestinian rainforests or something? Anyone who watched that video and still thinks that that woman has more than two functioning brain cells in her head might want to work on defending *that* connection …

  • Deborah, I don’t know if this is racist or not given that I don’t know what race you are (I’m guessing uppity white woman with too much time on her hands doesn’t qualify as a race) but you are an idiot. There must be a dictionary floating around your ashram or yoga retreat that you can look up apartheid in. I suggest you do.

    CK – “There aren’t enough self righteous and entitled white folks around for me to be made acutely aware of the pernicious racism and Apartheid that must surely be ubiquitously present.”

    LOL! That’s great. You’ve also alluded to the exact people who converted me away from liberalism.

    • Stick around kiddo. I can convert you back. “Atlas Shrugged” on your bedside table is SO undignified past the age of 16. A Ronald Reagan poster on your wall is fine if you’re Alex P. Keaton, scary if you’re not. Shabbat Shalom!

  • Muffti knows he is a lone voice here, but he is actually kind of glad to live in a (part of) society where protestors who don’t cause inordinate damage don’t get beaten up, shot, chased with pitchforks, left ducking cereal box racks…(though he is curious to see what happens when AlexK takes out his ‘daily anger’…) It’s a nice thing that TJ can handle protests and at the end, the manager even gently manages to show them how in future they should protest – sending mail etc. to the owners and managers of TJ and to convince buyers to avoid products they don’t think should be bought.

    Muffti doesn’t support theft or vandalism generally. But he does support taking level headed action and avoiding over-reaction.

  • The manager did a good job in stating company policy (which I’ve heard in TJ’s stores over here)– that they respond to customer likes and dislikes and if you have feedback, bring it to their attention. The company does well at customer relations generally.

  • Liberalism is a nice place to visit but I’ll never live there again. Like all things not owned, it’s always in a state of disrepair. As far as my daily anger, and taking it out on fools like these, I can assure you it would be strictly verbal, unless some filthy hippy got his or her petuli stink on me. CK, as far as Ayn Rand goes, Atlas Shrugged isn’t the only book that demonstrates why socialism/communism is a failed ideology. We The Living, for example, is basically a diary of my family’s life in the Soviet Union. Anyway, enough about these protestor idiots, I just saw that Arielle wrote another date profile!

  • I hate to break it to you, ck, but the fact that you live in The Worst Country That Has Ever Existed Anywhere In the Universe brings your liberal cred into question in the minds of quite a lot of people, at least here in the SF Bay Area.

    I don’t advocate violence, but those people should have been arrested for vandalism and theft. I’m all for the “broken window” theory of policing: ignore little things and they become big. Letting self-righteous wanna-be fascists (what else do you call people who think their political causes give them the right to vandalize a place of business?) get away with the little things only whets their appetite for more.

    They tried this at the TJs where I live, and it was a miserable failure. I let TJs know how appreciative I was of their refusal to knuckle under, and I also told them that if they had gone along with it I never would have shopped there again. I don’t know about SF, but they have their heads screwed on right down here.

  • i did, it’s true. my mom would have a heart attack if i were actually dating michael vick.

    we’re just getting our trader joes here in my new neck of the woods – word is out on princeton’s campus to head over there at the grand opening and buy as many israeli products as possible. a counter-attack… collegiate style.

  • These people gel nicely with whom Jonah Goldbegr refers to in “Liberal Fascism”.

  • They tried this in Los Angeles. It backfired and a lot of the TJ’s around here sold out of their Israeli products. The Jewish community here is very serious about their commitment to Israel.

    These activists really have their panties in a knot over Ahava though. Code Pink has given up on the anti- Iraq War rallies since Obama was elected to focus on Israeli facial moisturizers. I’m not joking by the way:

  • I appreciate civil disobedience as much as the next guy, but defacing small property such as frozen basil (which I have in my freezer, thank you very much), is no different than burning cars or smashing windows. Accordingly, this sort of disobedience is NOT civil. Thankfully, however, it is far easier to wind up and chuck frozen basil packages at the heads of these fuckwads than it would be to throw a burning car.

    To very loosely paraphrase Scarlet O’hara (who would not tolerate these dirtbags for even one minute), “as G-d as my witness……” I WILL throw frozen basil at these fuckers if they ever darken the door of my TJs.

  • This reminds me a bit of what happened in a French supermarket a few months back (
    There’s so much wrong with this video it’s hard to know where to start. For one, if these people are so environmentally conscious, do they realize all the waste they produce? The wasted food, the wasted paper on their flyers and stickers, the waste that will be created in landfills where all this stuff ends up…
    Also, if the concern is to buy local products from human rights abusers, are they sure to also boycott products from places like China, or any other place over 100 miles away where the food may come from?
    It’s amazing how these people are allowed to walk into and disrupt a private business. This is likely mischief, vandalism, destruction of private property, perhaps illegal solicitation and I may even throw in child abuse for brining that little girl along to assist in committing these acts. Oh, and there’s the fact that they continued filming in the store, on private property even after they were asked to stop.
    Of course, exposing their hypocrisy does not impact on the strength of their arguments, it merely points out an inconsistency in their position. I think the right thing for this store to do is uphold the law. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, so these protesters may benefit as well, but our societies are governed by the rule of law and illegal acts cannot and should not stand.

  • Oh, by the way… from a Detroit Metro perspective:

    Chaldean’s don’t own 7-11s. In fact, they’re not into franchises at all. They own independent, family owned convenience stores that almost always sell liquor. Here and in San Diego.

    7-11’s on the other hand, which are franchises, are mainly owned and operated by Indians.

    Just wanted to make sure the stereotypes were more accurate. 🙂

  • Trader Joe’s is owned by a family trust for Theo and Karl Albrecht who not only served in the Nazi army but also started their first grocery store by taking over a Jewish grocery. They are German billionaires ranking in the Forbes top 10 richest people.

    That they carry kosher products and their claim to be “socially conscious” is just marketing hype. They are brilliant entrepreneurs who run their Aldi Supermarket chain and Trader Joe’s with Nazi-like efficiency.

    Why am I banned from accessing this site directly? I haven’t written anything self-hating in a long time? Maybe Arielle should fix me up with her last date. I haven’t had a date since I turned 45 in June.

  • Welcome back Chutzpah! No worries about the slowness of the site today. We’re undera lot of strain from what looks like a DOS attack. Oh well. We missed you!

  • Thanks. So does this mean that all those who won’t buy a BMW or Ford because of their connection to the Holocaust will be forgoing the TJ “Reduced Guilt Wheat Crisps” and “Joe’s O’s”?

    At least TJ’s stopped carrying the David’s Best Kosher meat when the Rubaskin scandal hit.

    BTW, the site looks great and the hyperlinks are a nice touch!

  • Chutzpaleh! 😡

    (That emoticon’s supposed to be a kiss, but it looks like a kiss after a bar fight…)

  • oh these boycotting fucks are just so last year 🙁

    anyway, that’s fascinating that you know what a chaldean is. my school is like 40% chaldean !
    and yeah, alexk is right, they’re mostly into gas stations and party shops, not 7/11s 🙂

  • Frankly, most Russian Jews have a lot more politically in common with Chaldeans (Catholic Iraqis) than with American Jews. We both supported the Iraq war, we’re fiscal conservatives, we’re immigrants, entrepreneurs, share a common enemy, and sometimes dress similar (ie gaudy).

  • Thanks for the love Tom and Froylein.

    Froylein, please let us know if the Albrechts have the reputation of being former Nazis or if nobody cares because most people have former Nazis in their family history over there.

  • *sigh*
    Some of y’all got to brush up on your PR skills.
    First off, what I saw in the video wasn’t a “pogrom,” it was a bunch of self-righteous a**holes trying to make amends for missing out on the South African Divestment Campaigns of the 80’s ( a genuinely worthy cause). By not overreacting or calling the cops the TJ employees quite handily exposed these idiots for what they are, it seems like a SF Jewish Film Festival redux if you ask me. And the best part is now I know exactly what products to purchase next time I’m at TJ’s.
    Incidentally, did anyone watch the related “Before You Boycott Israel” video? Hilarious!

  • 1) a large portion of the frozen foods are using israeli flash freeze technology.
    2) anti-israel bigots failed miserably with a boycott at rainbow grocery, which is a smelly health food store known for attracting the radical jetset. the store had to reverse it’s policy because of the outraged it caused, even amongst their liberal clientele.

  • Somehow I suspected that you would all conveniently ignore the issue of Trader Joe’s being owned by Nazi’s.

    I don’t make this stuff up. I worked there for 2 months before they had their Corporate New Hire Orientation, complete with lots of delicious food, and told us flat out that Albrecht was in the “German Army” during WWII. Is that the politically correct way of saying “Nazi”? When the Regional Manager said “they bought the company for 6 million and it’s now worth over 40 million” I blurted out “oh, the same number of Jews who they killed in the Holocaust”, but everyone ignored me then also. I got fired two months later. I still love the food, but then again, I would drive a Mercedes and marry a goy if the opportunities presented themselves.

  • Chutzpah, you’re not our victim and you’re not being ignored. First of all, it’s important to document what you say and then it might resonate a little better. Offer a link or two from serious sources. Where did they serve? Were they on the Eastern front or at Auschwitz? How old were they? Were they conscripted or did they volunteer? How have they behaved in the years since the war? Trader Joe’s, to remind you, is not the same as Krupps or Mercedes or some of the companies that exist to this day after taking an active role in Germany’s activities in WWII. Also, let’s not be entirely unfair. It is very likely that when they bought Trader Joe’s for 6 million, they were thinking about the value of the investment, not dead Jews.

  • Ummmmm…..just for the sake of historical accuracy, was Albrecht in the regular army (Wehrmacht) or in one of the special force groups, like the SS, where you had to be a Nazi to get in?

    I’m not trying to whitewash the German army, but most regular Wehrmacht soldiers were draftees, just like in any other army, and while I don’t know the percentages, a lot of them weren’t Nazis.

  • Talk about being stuck in the past. I hate Nazis as much as the next Jew, and if the guy’s a Nazi I would stop shopping there. However, Nazi’s aren’t exactly a real threat to us nowadays with the exception of a few crazies here and there. People like Jeremiah Wright, Cinthia McKinney, Louis Farakhan, Rashid Khalidi, Noam Chompsky, Michael Moore, Pat Buchanan, Lew Rockwell, Islamists, et al, present a much greater threat that can easily be actualized.

  • As usual Middle, you are fair and balanced. Trader Joe’s did originate as an American company, born from the American dream. They sold rifles. And true, the amount they paid for the company is merely coincidence.

    I didn’t know it was politically correct to absolve those who were young draftees on the Eastern front from their participation in the War.

    Finding accurate information on the richest men in the world would be difficult considering their very strong potential to manipulate the media, so in the spirit of forgiveness I will have a glass of two buck chuck (despite the number of illegal aliens that suffered in the grape fields without proper water or bathrooms) CHEERS!

  • I’m insensed. Why don’t they boycott non-Jewish European-descended American produced products? Afterall, “those people” are continually decimating my Indigenous culture and have concentrated Japanese Americans, Black Americans, and the list goes on. Why don’t they boycott any Egyptian foods? They have the original “apartheid” wall in the Middle-east…been there for decades! Hmmm. Ban those racists calling for Obama’s assassination. But nooooo, socially conscious? Let a Mexican move next door to these “socially conscious” people…you won’t know the meaning of personal apartheid until them! As usual, pick an issue that is so far removed from yourself and your own sins…as in a foreign country. Takes the focus off, doesn’t it. Israel will still be here, surviving and thriving as usual.

  • These people are so intolerant and are being such bigots! So anti-semitic!

  • What happened to inclusivity? I thought multiculturalism was a liberals thing! Appearantly not if you are Israeli or if you are conservative.