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Why Marks & Spencer should NOT open in Egypt
15 facts about M&S's support for Zionism
Marks & Spencer is a British megastore which has been strongly linked with Zionism since the early 1900s. Now it plans to open its first branches in Egypt later this year. The following is a breakdown of its continued support and contribution to the Zionist movement.
- M&S supports the Zionist Entity with approximately $233 million in trade every year (Jerusalem Report, 5 June 2000).
- Cheryl Kuczynski, M&S corporate PR manager for 7 years, said "We have a history and a background with Israel that we are very proud of."
- Stuart Rose, current chairman of M&S, is a frequent guest speaker at the British Israeli Chamber of Commerce. He was a guest speaker at the UK business community's celebration of the Zionist Entity's 62nd birthday, while contributing to the fundraising of over $130,000 to the UJIA (United Jewish Israel Appeal).
- Marks and Spencer's directors include the chair of the British-Israeli Chamber of Commerce and the governor of the Weizmann Institute of Science.
- According to a report, M&S sales of imports of the Zionist Entity in 1999 amounted to $240 million (Jewish Chronicle, 8 December 2000).
- "The clothier bought about $325 million worth of merchandise from Israel last year. That figure includes products produced in Jordan and exported via Israel." (Richard Allen Greene, 'British store shrugs off boycott threat from Muslims', JTA, 13 December 2000)
- The JTA reported that "The Israeli ambassador to England recently honored Marks & Spencer for the company's continued support of Israel." (JTA, 13 December 2000)
- Simon Marks, son of the M&S founder Jewish refugee Michael Marks, together with his childhood friend Israel Sieff were highly influenced by Chaim Weizmann, the first president of the Zionist Entity, ever since they first met him in 1913. They worked with Weizmann in the build up to the Balfour Declaration of 1917.
- Israel Sieff, longtime M&S chairman, accompanied Weizmann during his meeting with Balfour just prior to the declaration of 1917, to Palestine for the Zionist Commission in 1918, and to the conference in Italy in 1920, during which the Balfour Declaration was incorporated into the British Mandate.
- Rebecca Sieff, sister of Simon Marks and wife of Israel Sieff, was one of the only three women to be elected to the council of the English Zionist Federation in 1918, and later founded the Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO) in 1920 and ran it for 20 years with Vera Weizmann.
- Miriam, sister of Simon Marks, married Harry Sacher who is, according to the Center for Jewish Studies in Manchester, an "important Zionist propaganda activist" and one of the founders of the monthly Zionist Banner in 1910.
- Weizmann valued his associates Simon Marks and Israel Sieff "not only for their moral support, which he depended heavily upon, but also for the influence they had - both through business contacts and through the large audiences reached through their newspaper and other publications."
- The Manchester School of Zionism, in which Simon Marks and Israel Sieff were members, played an important role in the Zionist movement and the creation of the Zionist Entity.
- Marcus Sieff, son of Simon Sieff and Rebecca Sieff and long time chairman for M&S, was involved in many charities in the Zionist Entity. He also worked and strongly supported the Weizmann institute
- Marcus Sieff wrote that one of the fundamental objectives of M&S is to aid the economic development of Israel (Management: The Marks & Spencer Way, Weidenfield & Nicolson, 1990).