Patch wants to know what you think about the upcoming discussion, debate and referendum vote to ban or not to ban Israeli products at the by determining their participation in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The statement of the coop's BDS group, which has no official connection to the coop itself, says they want to ban Israeli products at the Coop, like the Sodastream seltzer maker and replacement cartridges, organic paprika, Israeli couscous, olive pesto, vegan marshmallows and organic yellow peppers, because of “Israel’s violation of international law and human rights,” the group's website says.
, Senior Rabbi at on Eighth Avenue, wrote a blog post for Patch, entitled “,” outlining his thoughts on the potential ban on Israeli products.
Rabbi Bachman broke down why be opposes the ban with three points:
- One, it singles out Israel at the exclusion of an equal accounting of Palestinians and other Arab states for their own abuses and contributions to this conflict.
- Two, it is clear to us that the long-term goal of the BDS movement is to delegitimize the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state.
- Three, a PSFC boycott of Israel will greatly divide the delicate fabric of a community institution with as diverse a membership as any democratic community organization in the United States.
Joseph Holtz, the General Manager and a founder of the Park Slope Food Coop, wrote his opinion, which is against a boycott of Israeli products, in the Coop’s newsletter, The Linewaiter’s Gazette.
"Voting ‘COOP’ means voting NO on the proposed Israel/BDS referendum at the March General Meeting, regardless of your opinion on the extremely troubling situation in the Mideast," Holtz wrote.
The Coop's BDS group believes that if they carry Israeli goods, “Without making an explicit decision to do so is, in essence, voting in support of Israel’s actions—without actually taking a vote from membership,” the group writes. Therefore they feel that the “best way to respect the feelings” of all its members, “is to take a real vote, assuring that the Coop’s actions align with the wishes of the majority of members.”
But some people think the ban is a form of bigotry. One commenter on Bachman’s blog post said that he believes the potential ban is “Anti-Semitic.”
“The people behind this are well educated bigots and haters.... This is not a debate to them. They are taking action and we should as well...members who do not agree with the bigots among them need to either purge the Coop of that element or share the label themselves as co-conspirators. If the anti-Semites win and gain control of the Coop we need to boycott and run them out of business.”
The commenter wrote that he does not have a problem with people who do not agree with Israeli politics and voice their opinions, but he does have a problem “Once they step over the line and take actions against Israel in support of the Palestinian ‘plight’ (…I am referring to the accusation that it is all a part of an Israeli apartheid system) they are ‘stepping out’ as terrorist supporters.”
Now, what do you think? Is the Park Slope Food Coop’s potential ban, which will claim solidarity to the BDS movement and boycott all Israeli products, anti-Semitic? Please vote in the poll below and let us know what you think in the comments.
Correction: Patch incorrectly stated that Joseph Holtz, a founder and general manager of the Coop, supported the boycott in its original version. The article has been updated and Patch regrets the error.