Israel Boycott: Coming to a Co-op Near You

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In Brooklyn, a potential boycott is shaping up at the Park Slope Food Coop (PSFC) on Union Street, also known as “The Coop.” A group called the Park Slope Food Members for Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions is proposing that a referendum be held among the 15,000 members of the organization in which a “successful” outcome would result in all products made in Israel being banned from the co-op’s shelves. The group has aligned itself with the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS), whose Web site advocates maintaining a boycott against Israel “until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights.”

Ironically, the Coop was founded by “two Jewish socialists” in 1973. It has a business model which requires that each of its adult members work two hours and 45 minutes every four weeks, and that every adult in a household be a member or no one can join. Some older members along with those who have a disability are excused from the shift requirement. Parental leave is granted for the birth of a child. Anyone missing a require shift is put on “work alert” and must do two shifts as compensation within a month.

The Coop also has its own newspaper, the LineWaiter’s Gazette, its own social calendar, and its own Disciplinary Committee, which investigates “allegations of misbehavior by members” some of which include “using racist, sexist, homophobic or nasty language against other Coop members and staff.”

It also has a Diversity and Equality Committee “dedicated to improving human relations and communication in all policies and procedures” and “preventing and eliminating discrimination in the Coop.” In April, the committee announced “a series of workshops” for Coop “squad leaders” (members in charge of running a particular work shift) to “increase understanding and awareness of diversity in the Coop.”

As one might suspect, the Coop is no stranger to political activism. In 2004, it instituted a boycott of Coca-Cola products for a plethora of reasons, which are noted here. In 2008, it banned bottled water due to environmental issues. In 2010, it boycotted Flaum Appetizer Corp., a kosher food company that sold Sonny & Joe’s hummus, over “workers’ rights concerns.” It also banned Nestle products when that company promoted infant formula over breast-feeding.

Although the current proposed boycott of Israel is only now reaching critical mass, this is not the first time such a proposal has been brought up at the Coop. On January 27, 2009, Hima B., who describes herself as a “queer-centric, intradependent filmmaker who eschews a last name,” made the first attempt to gin up support for a boycott at a meeting. “I don’t know whether or not we carry Israeli products, but I propose that we no longer carry them,” she said. This was ostensibly due to Israel’s military action in Gaza.

The issue was brought up again in the November 4, 2010 issue of the LineWaiter’s Gazette, when General Coordinator/General Manager Joe Holtz penned a column noting that “it is likely that a proposal to boycott products from Israel will soon be submitted to our Agenda Committee for discussion at a future General Meeting.” Holtz proposed that “all boycotts be passed by a two-thirds majority from now on.” He noted that several previous boycotts had a high level of support, “perhaps as high as 95 percent of [the Coop’s] members,” but that boycotting Israel “will be a far bigger challenge for the Coop than any past proposed boycott.” The column likely reflected a meeting last year, where 20-30 Coop members pushed for a referendum on the BDS movement in response to the Gaza flotilla incident, where Israeli commandos killed nine activists aboard the Mavi Marmara.

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  • outsider

    no doubt this legitimate humanitarian action will be unfairly denounced as "antisemitic" boycotting before long.

    • SHmuelHaLevi

      Worry not outsider,
      Israel, as opposed to other countries, enjoys a very good economic profile and it means absolutely nothing to us if same folk decides not to buy the excellent Israeli products. There are some foreign paid marauders here but they are being peacefully neutralized.
      What one can concluded out of the proposed boycott, is that the boycotters much rather consume lead and other goodies poisoned garbage. Go for it by all means!
      By any chance are those "humanitarians" they support part of the bestial aggregates murdering one and all in Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, etc?
      Birds of a feather…. outsider sans name…

    • equalrights4all

      sad. but true.

    • MixMChess

      The boycott of Israeli goods is unjust and hypocritical and no different than the Nazi boycotts of Jewish businesses in 1930's. Singling out Israel for boycott out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest.

      Boycotts are destructive and divisive and undermine hopes for peace. Boycotting Israeli products does not encourage Palestinian leaders to return to negotiations. In fact, it shows them that they do not need to negotiate because others are willing to hurt Israel economically and politically. Boycotting Israeli products does nothing to help the Palestinians improve their lives, begin state building, or develop democratic institutions.

      Arguments supporting boycotts ignore the context of Israel’s actions in order to justify penalizing only Israel. Those behind the boycott efforts never mention the ongoing terrorism that Israelis have suffered from, and they never mention groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. They ignore 60 years of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and ten years of over 10,000 missiles and mortars fired by Hamas from Gaza into Israeli towns and villages.

      Punishing Israel is hypocritical. Boycott activists were silent when Palestinians launched the suicide bombing campaign that murdered over 1,000 Israeli civilians while they were in pizza restaurants, on school buses, and at dance clubs. Those promoting boycotts against Israel were silent when Hamas launched 10,000 rockets at Israel’s southern communities, murdering toddlers and turning everyday life into a lethal game of Russian roulette. They have been silent about Hamas’ and Iran’s openly announced genocidal goals to destroy Israel.

      Supporting boycotts against Israel gives cover to – and in effect supports – the most regressive forces in the region and in the modern world. Boycott activists ally themselves with Hamas and Hezbollah, two of the most repressive, reactionary, fundamentalist religious/political movements. Gays and lesbians are summarily killed. Women have minimal rights and are completely subjugated to the men in their families. There is a complete disconnect between liberal beliefs in human rights, civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and democracy and the beliefs promoted by Hamas and Hezbollah.

  • Flipside

    Sounds good. BDS has a good effect because politicians only understand money. I am glad this store does not feel obligated to fund Israel. Too bad about the Zionist counterprotest, but I bet it will be fun to watch a bunch if enraged Zionists leave their unbought produce at the counter while claiming that they would have bought this wheatsteak but now no. Maybe Netanyahu can declare the coop in violation if the new law against boycotts and extraordinarily render them to Israel for torture. Maybe they all know where Gilad Shallit is, or at least where a shallot is.

    • equalrights4all

      Lol. well put.

    • ziontruth

      "BDS has a good effect because politicians only understand money."

      BDS has the effect of turning apathetic Israeli Jews into ardent Zionists. Be careful what you wish for, anti-Zionist scum.

      • Flipside

        Nobody is afraid of you people.

        • ziontruth

          For now.

    • MixMChess

      Boycotts are destructive and divisive and undermine hopes for peace. No wonder you support them huh?

      Boycotting Israeli products does nothing to help the Palestinians improve their lives, begin state building, or develop democratic institutions. It is a call for destructive, not constructive, action. It's obvious you really don't care about Palestinians, just defaming and destroying Israel.

      Of course you fail to mention the ongoing terrorism that Israelis have suffered from, and they never mention groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. The 60 years of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and ten years of over 10,000 missiles and mortars fired by Hamas from Gaza into Israeli towns and villages.

      Punishing Israel is hypocritical. You're silent about Palestinians launching the suicide bombing campaign that murdered over 1,000 Israeli civilians while they were in pizza restaurants, on school buses, and at dance clubs. What about Hamas who launched 10,000 rockets at Israel’s southern communities, murdering toddlers and turning everyday life into a lethal game of Russian roulette. What about Hamas’ and Iran’s openly announced genocidal goals to destroy Israel.

      You ally yourself with Hamas and Hezbollah, two of the most repressive, reactionary, fundamentalist religious/political movements. Gays and lesbians are summarily killed. Women have minimal rights and are completely subjugated to the men in their families. I bet you sleep well at night huh?

      • Flipside

        Your plaintive plea shows exactly why BDS is a good idea. Please. Threatening to revoke the peace because of a boycott. What peace? Even Israelis boycott Israel nowadays.

  • Yehuda

    BDS standards for bigots, dingbats, and scoundrels

  • Tagfu222

    “where Israeli commandos killed nine activists aboard the Mavi Marmara.”
    “activist” used to mean someone who wrote letters, chained themselves to buildings, participated in marches or sit ins etc. Now it means someone who attacks with metal pipe, throws rocks and fire bombs, blow themselves up, etc.

  • kafir4life

    When the PSFC goes out of business because they've driven away enough customers and the remaining anti-Israel customers can't patronize it enough to keep the doors open, who will get the blame? Why the Jews of course!!

    They did give me an idea tho'. Don't ever hire a muslim. Let muslims hire muslims. Never shop at a muslim owned shop. Let muslims shop there. And never ever ever patronize a business that hires muslims. Let muslims shop there, and let the owner know why you can't shop there. Even the leader of the texas muslims, crabnutters mikey agrees that you can hire who you want, you can shop where you want, and if necessary, get another cab.

    allahu snackbar, and a happy rama-dama-ding-dong to my muslim friends.

    • Fuzzlenutter

      I'm with ya!

  • Steve Chavez


    Even when Obama spit on Netanyahu TWICE, the Con-artist-in-Chief was still welcome at AIPAC! CAN'T THEY SEE HE IS A FRAUD!


    • Stan Lee

      That'll never happen in Brooklyn! Most of the voters there are devout left-wingers who're automatically counted upon by far-left Democrats.
      You ask if AIPAC can see that Obama's a fraud? Aipac can't even see that they, themselves, are frauds.

  • StephenD

    I think it's cute for a group of adults with no better purpose in life thinks their boycotting Israeli goods is effective.

    Their naiveté is almost endearing.“said co-op member Brenda Iijima. “It’s controversial and I understand everyone’s sensitivity. But I think what’s happening in Palestine is just unconscionable and sad. We are directly responsible for it in the United States.”

    Awww, how cute!

  • Raymond in DC

    I'd venture not a single BDS promoter in the Park Slope crowd boycotts goods made in China. Anyone think they've got a better human rights record than Israel? Are they considering a boycott against any other country but Israel? That's what I thought.

  • BS77

    In case you leftist loons haven't been paying attention, Israel is NOT the problem in the Middle East….

  • ohbillybillybilly

    Is this site a pro-israeli propoganda machine. I need to know for a school project.

    • al222

      If it's a high school project, where there might be a smidgen of balance left in the curriculum, the answer is no. if it's college project, where "balance" equates to a non-stop bashing Israel, the answer is yes.

      and learn how to spell propaganda.

      • SpiritOf1683

        I think this says everything about his school.

    • MixMChess

      If you want to learn about propaganda look no further than the Arab world – they are the experts at disinformation.

  • Stan Lee

    It's damned easy to sit one's backside in Brooklyn and pettily join a "boycott" of Israel.
    The entire miniscule State of Israel is always on the firing line, always threatened, and yet these Brooklynites think they're being noble? They aren't proving anything except that they'd sell out their own people.
    If any of these loud-mouthed, leftist, Marxist, Brooklynites lived in Israel, they'd be screaming at the least Arab provocation for the Israeli Security Forces to protect them.
    But, that's not the case for them, they sit their derrieres in the USA, and sell out their fellow Jews for the least of causes.
    Israelis must hit back, they are entitled to send the message that they will retaliate quickly and thoroughly if attacked. They aren't taught to hate, but the Arabs are!
    This bunch of Brooklyn Jews harbour resentments to Israel from the inception of that state. They'd rather switch than fight, if it came to deciding!
    Their little boycott means nothing more than to reveal the kind of people who would betray their own kind while they are in a place far from where the troubles are.

  • sedoanman

    Nobody ever suggests a ban on Palestinian consumer products, and for a good reason: there are none. That should tell you something, and that something is their only product is terror.

    • Foolster41

      I was just about to say the same thing.

    • Adrian Cain

      Actually besides suicide bombers they do export olive oil. They have it at the San Francisco "Rainbow Collective" at three times the price of any non-terrorist produced olive oil. I don't know if Rainbow boycotts Israeli products, but it seem like something they would do. If they do, I won't shop there (but I don't anyway 'cause it's in a crappy neighborhood).

    • SpiritOf1683

      Palestinian consumer products include the bomb belt ant the Qassam rocket.

  • DuncanIdaho

    To all in favor of the boycott act now! If you are using an Intel processor in your computer turn it off and never use it again. Intel processors are designed in Israel and some are even made there. So support the boycott, stop using your computers.

    • SpiritOf1683

      Not to mention the code for Windows 7 as well.

  • JohnWV

    As did the Jews in 1920s Wiemar Germany, Israel and its AIPAC minions have garnered disproportionate media, financial and political control right here in United States. Seems our country, not just Palestine, has been occupied. At horrific cost, Palestine justly and honorably resists, whereas we, like donkeys, serve the Israeli herdsmen.

    • Mtch S.

      You deserve to have your throat slit you little weasel anti-semetic bastard.

    • ziontruth

      John, mein liebschen (sp?), you try hard, and you nearly succeed, but there's just one thing, one tiny thing making the difference between you and your 1930s counterparts. That thing is, you say "Jews out of Palestine!", while your true-blue Aryan Volksdefender ancestors said, "Jews to Palestine!"

      Amazing, isn't it, how the modern-day Nazis have jumped firmly on the anti-Zionist, pro-Phakestinian bandwagon… well, maybe not so amazing. With their plans in ashes, like their Fuhrer in his bunker, the neo-Nazis could only pass the relay torch to the coreligionists of said Fuhrer's friend and ally, the Mufti of Jerusalem.

      Very interesting, how both neo-Nazis and Marxists recognize the Islamic imperialists for the potent agents of violence they are, and have allied with them for similar reasons: The neo-Nazis, as mentioned, to carry on the departed Fuhrer's work; and the Marxists, to fill the job of pressing on the hated West after the demise of the Soviet Union. But be patient, my fine scaly friends, you will have your reward: Where Islam is triumphant, it will devour you no-longer-useful idiots; and where Islam is defeated and crushed, there you will meet your judgment as its accomplices in crime. Count on it!

    • DeShawn

      Right on, brother!

      • SpiritOf1683

        Back to Nigeria, black Jew-hating submonkey parasite.

      • ziontruth

        DeSchutzstaffel and JohnWVolkischerbeobachter, sitting in a tree,
        Kay Eye SS Eye En Gee.

    • Foolster41

      You heard it! The Jews in Wiemar Germany DESERVED what they got! "dispreportionite media, financial and political control!" Apparently JohnWV believes the propaganda of Goebbels and Hitler! You are unabashed anti-semetic neo-natzi scum!

  • aamador1776

    A socialist Jew is like a black KKK member Part-I

    I was somewhat dumbfounded when first confronted with this conundrum. How can Jews embrace those who seek to destroyed him? How can someone be against their own people? It is like a black wanting to join the KKK! It just stupid, it did not make sense to me. I am at a point where I think I understand the mind of the secular Jew but it is difficult to reconcile with plain common sense. There are many reasons why people reject them selves and their own. I will not attempt to play the role of psychiatrics. I understand the mind of the Left very well though. These mentally disturb individuals will sacrifices them selves at the alter of secularism for the sake of a diluted cause.

  • aamador1776

    A socialist Jew is like a black KKK member Part-II

    Hey stupid have you considered that these people you are defending want to see you dead? You guys are a bunch of really despicable people! You are so like Benedict Arnold. A disgrace to your own and humanity. It is truly something to behold… You horses ass, don't you know the world will hate you anyway!? Do you really think that by turning on your own you are going to gain some points? Are you so deranged that it does not matter to you when they come for your children, your wife and finally you? Are you willing to walk into the gas chambers for the sake of your socialist cause? Are you nuts!?

    I stand with Israel but I despise you and everyone like you.

  • Ghostwriter

    JohnWV,I've got a question for you. Is your favorite book "Mein Kampf?" I ask because your statement wouldn't be out of place in that book.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    I discovered America in Brooklyn, I was born there, more than most of it's inhabitants can say today. These idiots who would boycot Israel are in need of education, psychiatric help and probably a job. Shame on the proposers, local Jews should
    boycott this insulting leftist cell and picket the store.
    How sad for Brooklyn……………William

  • ISAIAH5417

    FTA: "much of Park Slope is a multicultural, values-neutral enclave…"
    Values-neutral? More like virtue-neutral. Those Park Slope Progressives sound like dead men walking to me; filled with the darkness of their own self-righteousness, ignorance and bigotry. What good are they to anyone but themselves for keeping one another strong in the lies they believe are truth? Values are what you get when you make good bargains in trade. Virtue keeps the Soul alive.

  • Infidel 4 Ever

    Who would have thought that SOCIALISTS would be racist, fascist, islamist?

    LIke the good ole days with the Socialist hitler and Socialist stalin non-aggression pact.

  • Infidel 4 Ever

    Here are some boycotts I recommend:

    Any company that is associated with Venezuela/Hugo Chavez – gas company.

    Joe Kennedy – he is a shill for Socialist Chavez Venezuela.

    scotland – releasing the "dying" bomber of Pan Am 103

    Any movie that has the following actors – make them the kiss of death for any film that hired them.
    – sean penn
    – danny glover
    – susan sarandon
    – vanessa redgrave
    Many more.

    Hit Socialists in the pocket book.

    Two can play the game.

  • sherlock holmes

    @Kafir4life: Hi. I have been noticing for some time now that your sort-of-signature at the end of your posts read:

    “allahu snackbar, and a happy rama-dama-ding-dong to my muslim friends.”

    Now in this sentence there’s a name Ram (spelled Rama in English, though I can’t understand why) which actually is the name of Supreme Being according to Hindus, i.e. Lord Ram.

    so, if you didn’t knew this fact, then OK, however, if you knew this fact, and still using that name in a sentence you use to address Muslims, it’s very very wrong.

    in case you have no sense of history, allow me to tell you that in all the 1400 years of Islamic jihad, no other people, I repeat, no other people, have fought Muslims more bravely and for a longer period of time, than Hindus of India. first muslims marauders reached Indian subcontinent barely years after mohammand’s death, with the pledge that they will turn the land of hindus in to an islamic emirate within decades, and since then, hindu-muslim conflict goes on till THIS DAY. hindus lost heavily, today’s afganistan and pakistan were rich Hindu kingdoms in not too distant past, but despite such huge losses, hindus continue to fight jihadis till this day. hindus suffered terrible loss of life & land as recently as 1947, when britishers partitioned india and gave muslims a seperate country named Pakistan(land of the pure), still, hindus refuse to accept defeat TILL THIS DAY. let me tell you what an AMERICAN, YES AN AMERICAN HISTORIAN ONCE SAID AFTER YEARS OF RESEARCH ON MUSLIM CONQUEST OF INDIA AMERICAN HSITORIAN WILL DURANT SAID, “Muslim attack on the hindus in the indian subcontinent, spanning centuries, is THE BLOODIEST STORY IN HUMAN HISTORY.” there’s actually a mountain range in afganistan, named HinduKush by the muslims raiders after they have slaughtered the last Hindu of that area, which translates in english as “Hindus butchered.”

    so Kafir4life, for you to use the name Ram in sentence addressing Muslims, is downright insulting to Hindus. do give my message a level headed reading.

    • kafir4life

      Sherlock – I certainly had no intention of insulting Hindus. Rama-dama-ding dong is a takeoff on a song (maybe I'm just showing my age) called Rama-lama-ding-dong by The Edsels in the mid 1950s. Youtube probably haas a taste.

      I came across another old translation you may be interested in. The English translation of that claptrap noise that people are forced to listen to when muslims gather to worship their moon god. It's actually sung to another old song, this one written by the Oscar Meyer folk, and goes like this…..

      Our moon god has a first name…
      it's a-l-l-a-h.
      Our moon god has no second name,
      it's A-L-L-A-H……
      Oh we kill kafir most every-day,
      and if you ask to whom we prayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…….
      To kill kafir is A-O-K,
      says a-l-l-a-h oy vey.

      allahu snackbar, and a happy Hama-Dama-Ding-Dong. (better??)

      • sherlock holmes

        @Kafir4Life: I am ROTFL…..after reading this song you have posted.
        thanks for making my day. :-D
        and I was totally clueless that your earlier signature was based on a song of the mid 50’s. so I think I reacted rather unnecessarily. Sorry if my previous post caused you any mental stress.

        allahu snackbar, and a happy Rama-Dama-Ding-Dong. :-)

    • fmobler

      Thank you for the reminder that the history of Islam is essentially 1400 years of unrelenting hatred and violence. This puts the lie to the idea that Islamists hate the West for what colonialism did to their once great civilization. They hate all of us. We need to understand that.

  • Esteban Cafe

    I adamantly agree with the article: Israel is a terrorist country and the only one situated among the peaceful Muslim countries which daily attacks and oppresses them. A clear outsider in the area, Israel is the ONLY country in this Muslim neighborhood with a free press, voting rights, freedom of speech (which all its Arab citizens enjoy), unlike any Jews that may be left in neighboring Muslim countries. Shame on Israel: they should fall in line with the Muslim countries surrounding them and provide the same rights to their subjects. That this might include torture, zero human rights, destitute and poverty stricken lives is beside the point and the cost of living in such a paradise. Some of the wrong-headed have suggested the obvious differences between life-styles in Israel and their neighbors is the result of the differences in the creeds & religions they follow. Poppy cock. Israel is clearly draining the oil reserves of each of surrounding Muslim nations—thus is much higher standard of living. And thus the poverty of said nations—it’s all about blood for oil.

  • Esteban Cafe

    That there has been far more Muslim-on-Muslim killing than any Jew-on-Muslim killing is, again, beside the point. But for many, there has NOT been enough Muslim-on-Jew killing. It’s good to see this underlying spirit in the Coop’s proposal.
    Another complaint against Israel: they are dominating the Nobel Prizes in every category. This imbalance shows a clear bias in the selection process and thus, is patently unfair. Muslims have produced many, MANY innovations that have helped mankind but which have completely been ignored. In NASA-like spin offs, Muslims have driven technology improvements in everything from airport scanners to cell phone blockers. Their peripheral benefits to mankind are abjectly ignored by Nobel committees–another slight against the Religion of Peace.

  • Esteban Cafe

    On the bright side, many organizations, including the Coop, are recognizing how difficult Palestinian life is. Discounting the current slaughter of Palestinian people by Syrian troops and past slaughter by Egyptian and most other Islamic nations’ troops, there remains an undertone of strong “dislike” emanating from Israelis towards the Palestinians and Hamas and Hezbollah. Everyone knows that a Muslim would rather be killed by another Muslim than disliked by an Israeli. And why this dislike? Israeli's insufferable and unconscionable intolerance to rockets raining down on their cities and families. Shame. Shame is all Israel should feel. Go Coop, go!

  • RobHoey

    These "Jews" who want to boycott Israeli products have probably never spent any real time in Israel and never experienced the terror inflicted upon the Israelis by the Palestinians. Worse, they are not really Jews in any real way other than to claim they are, but are able to take some morally superior high ground in their mind when they have no clue about the situation. They hate being Jewish, do not practice their religion, except, perhaps, on certain high holy days, but even that's doubtful. After the slaughter of the Sobel family, some of these morons were able to justify or forgive the barbarism, but they don't get it–they don't understand how Islamic jihad wants them as dead as the rest of their Israeli brethren for whom they represent Cain, rather than Abel.

  • lothianburnmember

    another golf -hater