Bloomberg warns BDS will lead to ‘massacres’ as Park Slope Co-op holds initial vote on boycott tonight

Israel/Palestine
on 33 Comments
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Supporters and opponents of tonight’s vote engage with Park Slope Co-op members.
(Photo: New York Times)

The Park Slope Food Co-op is set to vote tonight on whether to hold a referendum on boycotting Israeli goods and the New York Times has sunk to a preposterously inconceivable new low with this news report biased propaganda on the proposed Park Slope Co-Op Boycott of Israeli products. What’s missing:

- not a single quote from anyone who supports the boycott

- not a single mention of what is motivating the boycott: Israel’s human rights abuses, theft of land, oppression of Palestinians, and so on

- not a single statement of comparative contextual history, e.g., grassroots boycotts of South Africa that successfully contributed to the end of Apartheid policies

Instead of of neutrality, impartiality, facts, and context, what do we get? A megaphone for hateful, delusional scaremongering:

“I think it has nothing to do with the food,” Mayor Bloomberg said of the boycott. “The issue is there are people who want Israel to be torn apart and everybody to be massacred, and America is not going to let that happen.”

Excuse me? Supporters of nonviolent boycott want Israelis to be massacred?

Not to be outdone, Manhattan borough president Scott M. Stringer called the boycott “an anti-Semitic crusade.” And again, no chance for a response from any co-op members who support the boycott.

Memo to the new Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren: I hope you read this. I hope you will read Falk and Friel’s Israel-Palestine on the Record: How the New York Times Misreports Conflict in the Middle East. I hope you will turn over a new leaf in the newspaper of mis-record’s coverage.

About Matthew Taylor

Matthew A. Taylor is co-founder of PeacePower magazine, and author of "The Road to Nonviolent Coexistence in Palestine/Israel," a chapter in the book Nonviolent Coexistence.

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33 Responses

  1. James North
    March 27, 2012, 10:13 am

    A superb report by Matthew. The Times article was a joke; if I were still teaching journalism, I could use it as an example of bias.
    Why were elected officials even called for their comments in the first place, (unless they belong to the coop)? Next step: start interviewing members of the New York Knicks for their views?

  2. Chu
    March 27, 2012, 10:17 am

    everyone quoted is a potential candidate for mayor. That’s shoddy standards even for the NY Times Israel agenda. The only one who they haven’t quoted running in the race is commissioner Ray Kelly, and not to be forgotten, Anthony Weiner.

  3. hophmi
    March 27, 2012, 10:30 am

    Oh please, stop whining. The Times did a long article on this last week.

    link to nytimes.com

    Today’s article is called “Boycott Plan at Food Co-op Is Opposed by City Officials.”

    It’s about the reaction of city officials, all of whom oppose this. The Times has no responsibilities to quote boycott supporters unless they are city officials. Clearly, you’ve not been able to win over a single politician, let alone any constituency of people to actually vote for discriminating against Israel, which seems to have the effect of simply annoying the Coop members, who do not understand why their time is being wasted over five products by a few loudmouths with a extreme political agenda.

    • Denis
      March 27, 2012, 11:29 am

      Good point, hophmi

      You’ve got Kirk Semple’s error-laden drivel on Mar23 presenting the “fair and balanced” view that nobody at the Coop gives a crap about BDS. Semple is more interested in reporting what the people have in their shopping baskets.

      Then, the day before the vote is scheduled, NYT runs the anti-BDS piece ostensibly reporting the politicians’ positions.

      Oh, please, stop whining all of you people who care about the Zionist rape of Palestine.

      • hophmi
        March 27, 2012, 12:43 pm

        Care to say what was error-laden about it? It quoted people from both sides, and it’s accurate that BDS is being pushed by a small minority and that mostly Coop members are annoyed by it.

        Once again, you’re whining because you’re upset your extreme political cause is not supported by any mainstream voice.

        The article is about the reaction of local politicians, who have seen fit to weigh in. It’s not biased to present their opinions anymore than it would be biased to write an article entitled, “BDS Proponents Begin Campaign at Park Slope Coop” citing only BDS supporters as sources.

      • marc b.
        March 27, 2012, 1:11 pm

        It’s not biased to present their opinions anymore than it would be biased to write an article entitled, “BDS Proponents Begin Campaign at Park Slope Coop” citing only BDS supporters as sources.

        but the NYT would never publish an article about BDS particularly, or criticism of israel generally, without an opposing voice included. my quick google search of the topic turns up no NYT article titled anything like your hypothetical, or an article that excludes opinions opposed to the boycott. and i don’t see how anyone could credibly argue that the NYT even makes a pretense about ‘even-handedness’ when it comes to reporting on I/P. that’s not what its readership wants, apparently.

      • Citizen
        March 27, 2012, 3:20 pm

        marc b, don’t bother responding to hophmi the ziocainbot. He doesn’t realize that a major US newspaper should at least stick to minimal journalistic standards and objectively report the pro & con stances of foreign policy issues, especially when arising locally in a contest between local politicians & wannabees posturing for local office on an issue reserved to the federal executive office.

      • Daniel Rich
        March 27, 2012, 4:56 pm

        @ hopmi,

        Q: small minority

        R: You make it sound as if a ‘big’ minority equals a ‘majority.’

    • Denis
      March 27, 2012, 3:25 pm

      @hophmi: Care to say what was error-laden about it?

      Sure, below is a cut/paste from the revised article. Sophomoric errors of fact. This is NYT, after all.

      Correction: March 24, 2012
      An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that Liz Roberts was a member of the Park Slope Food Co-op B.D.S. board. Ms. Roberts is an activist with the Park Slope Food Co-op Members for B.D.S., but no such board exists at the Park Slope Food Co-op. Additionally, an earlier correction in this space wrongly stated that the Park Slope Food Co-op did not have a board; it does. Additionally, the first name of Nechama Marcus was misspelled.

      @hophmi: Once again, you’re whining because you’re upset your extreme political cause is not supported by any mainstream voice.

      Very good point. All the mainstream voices are controlled by you Manifest Destiny Zionists, just like Congress is. Having shut down or dominated the MSM discourse in the US by ownership and financial control, you Zionists then crow about how the Palestinian cause “is not supported by any mainstream voice.”

      Go ahead — I can see your next comment coming before you can get your fingertips on the keyboard: “ANTI-SEMITE!!!” SAFBII . . .

  4. pabelmont
    March 27, 2012, 10:31 am

    Did you tweet Jodi Rudoren? I hear she sometimes reads tweets.

    Meanwhile, Bloomberg and other hyperventilators are, like proper little well-disciplined Chicken Littles who know which side their political bread is schmaltzed on, crying “The sky is falling, the sky is falling” (“Israel to be torn apart and everybody to be massacred”), and all the fault of those nasty anti-Semites in Park Slope)!

    [irony]

  5. American
    March 27, 2012, 10:47 am

    “if I were still teaching journalism, I could use it as an example of bias.”…North

    Absolutely. And the bias and misrepresentation and ‘incitement’
    language like Bloombergs for example, is exactly why I argue against the “nusancing” of descriptions and language regarding Israel’s actions the liberal zionist insist on under the guise it will turn off Jews.
    You want to beat back zionism? Then you have to talk about it and describe it in a way that arouses emotions and moral outrage in the average person. The majority of people are aroused to action by their emotions not by reason and intellect.

  6. DICKERSON3870
    March 27, 2012, 11:33 am

    RE: “Bloomberg warns BDS will lead to ‘massacres’ ”

    THIS BRINGS TO MIND – Rabbis warn Bush: Annapolis will bring destruction to US, by Neta Sela, Ynet News, 11/06/07
    Group of right-wing rabbis writes open letter to US president demanding he cancel Annapolis summit or risk provoking ‘wrath of the almighty.’ Rabbis assert Katrina disaster a result of America’s support of 2005 disengagement, say California fires a warning

    (excerpt) A fringe group of prominent ultranationalist rabbis issued a harshly-worded letter to United States President George W. Bush earlier this week, warning him that the upcoming Annapolis peace conference would bring destruction upon America.
    The rabbis evoke their previous prediction in 2005, when they published an open letter to Bush in the New York Times, demanding the US rescind its support of the disengagement plan.
    “We wrote to President Bush, a man who believes in the Bible, to warn him against the terrible danger to which he is exposing his country by hosting such a conference,” said Rabbi Meir Druckman, one of signatories to the letter.
    “The land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel. God punishes anyone who coerces Israel to give up its land,” he said.
    “There is no doubt the New Orleans flood from the Katrina hurricane was God’s punishment for evicting the settlements,” said Druckman , “with hundreds of thousands left homeless, hundreds killed or wounded and billions of dollars sent down the drain – can we really ignore God’s hand collecting an eye for an eye?”
    The disengagement from Gaza and the northern West Bank was completed August 23rd, 2005 – which was also the date Hurricane Katrina formed over the Bahamas.
    “Despite those consequences, yet again we find ourselves facing an initiative to expel Jews from Judea and Samaria and cede their cities to terror organizations. And once again the patrons of the event are President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
    “This time the Almighty is warning the US in advance: if the plague of water was not enough now he shall send flames. While hundreds of thousands of families have already fled the terrible fires in California, and we ask you, will you really forge ahead with this malevolent plan?” added Druckman. . .

    SOURCE – link to ynetnews.com

    • marc b.
      March 27, 2012, 12:39 pm

      There is no doubt the New Orleans flood from the Katrina hurricane was God’s punishment for evicting the settlements,” said Druckman.”

      well, this is disturbing news. i thought god sent katrina to punish the sodomites. so will the sodomites be punished at a later date?

      • DICKERSON3870
        March 28, 2012, 1:33 pm

        RE: “i thought god sent katrina to punish the sodomites. so will the sodomites be punished at a later date?” ~ marc b.

        MY REPLY: These right-wing rabbis will have to duke it out with Jerry Falwell (R.I.P.), Pat Robertson, John Hagee, the Wesboro Baptist “Church”, etc., before we know* the answer to your question.
        * assuming that the answer is “knowable” per Donald Rumsfeld

  7. seafoid
    March 27, 2012, 11:43 am

    “I think it has nothing to do with the food,” Mayor Bloomberg said of the boycott. “The issue is there are people who want Israel to be torn apart and everybody to be massacred, and America is not going to let that happen.””

    In 1965 49 people were arrested somewhere in the US for a protest against Chase Manhattan Bank lending money to South Africa.
    In 1990 Apartheid fell.

    Israel isn’t at 1965 yet but it should be
    BS like if Israel recognises the rights of Palestinians everyone will die is no different to what the white in SA were saying in 1965.

  8. Haytham
    March 27, 2012, 11:56 am

    Anyone notice–yet again–the contrast between the readers’ picks comments and the NYT pick comment?

    This is a representative example of a readers’ pick comments:

    Fascinating, Mr. Grynbaum, that you make no mention of WHY there is a call for divestment and sanctions against Israel.

    This story showcases a bias against the vote and a fervent support of Israel. Why is it all about denunciations with no quotes from people in favor of the boycott?

    This is the sole NYT pick comment:

    While I largely support the assertions of the boycott movement and I sincerely hope that Israel negotiates, in good faith, with the Palestinians to achieve a lasting, just, two-state solution, I am opposed to the proposed Coop boycott, and I intend to vote “No” at the Coop general meeting tonight. The proposal to boycott the few Israeli products that the coop carries (including at least one product produced by a joint Jewish-Palestinian, peace-oriented firm) will have no effect on moving toward a just solution of the situation in Israel/Palestine (even on a symbolic level), but it will certainly have a negative impact on the food coop. I respect my fellow coop members who differ with me on the situation in the Middle East, and I do not want to alienate members of my community. This divisive issue is largely beyond the purview of the Coop. I think we should vote “No” and then come together around the core issues of the Park Slope Food Coop. “

    How long before they get rid of the readers’ picks tab?

  9. Krauss
    March 27, 2012, 12:15 pm

    Bloomberg went out and defended Goldman Sachs a few weeks ago and went brutal on OWS. Now this.

    A ‘progressive’, you know. A lot of those around.

    • weindeb
      March 27, 2012, 3:45 pm

      You call Bloomberg a progressive? I hope you’re being sarcastic. One daisy or so does not a meadow make.

  10. gazacalling
    March 27, 2012, 12:34 pm

    Judith Miller’s successors at the NYT should be proud at how they are carrying on her noble legacy.

  11. Pixel
    March 27, 2012, 1:18 pm

    “…Mayor Bloomberg said of the boycott. “The issue is there are people who want Israel to be torn apart and everybody to be massacred…”

    More hysteria.

  12. LanceThruster
    March 27, 2012, 1:28 pm

    there are people who want Israel to be torn apart and everybody to be massacred

    For starters, I’d settle for Israel doing their own massacring on their own dime.

    I don’t know how many times smug Israel firsters have laughed and mocked how Israeli Zionists continue to plunder our treasury for their own aims, but it’s an awful freakin’ lot.

    • Citizen
      March 27, 2012, 4:33 pm

      I’m aghast at how non-Jewish Americans have let this happen. The Christian fundies I understand since they believe they have to 2 support Jews no matter what to go to heaven & they conflate the state of Israel & AIPAC preaching as doing that, but secular Americans, the most progressive of all Americans, continue to support a racist state–I attributed it to them buying into the Shoah Religion, plus if they are ambitious career-wise, in the USA, they know what to back, what code words work in their favor–like all POTUS candidates including Obama & all GOP contenders (except Ron Paul).

  13. piotr
    March 27, 2012, 2:02 pm

    “The Times has no responsibilities to quote boycott supporters unless they are city officials.”

    Clearly, responsibilities of Times Corporation is to deliver dividends to the shareholders, and somehow get the balance between appeasing plutocrats and “brand preservation”. From that point of view, limiting quotes to city officials is rather strange. A usual technique is to drop a quote or two of “real people”.

    Moreover, quoting only the insane people would not make much sense. If it is sane to believe, as Bloomberg seems to, that “The issue is there are people who want Israel to be torn apart and everybody to be massacred” then one should also investigate the nature of that evil. If these folks are “anti-theists” who want to get rid the worlds of the Chosen People of God in Whom God Dwells and thus of God, then it would be futile to search for them in mosques and Muslim organizations. If they are heretical Jews who do not believe that it is proper to create a Jewish state prior to the coming of Messiah, then again the efforts of NYPD can be directed more precisely. By simply leaving it like that, quote Bloomberg without addressing the dire news that he delivers NYT hints disbelief.

    • Citizen
      March 27, 2012, 4:44 pm

      It’s simple, the flagship US press ship, NYT, chose to give Dick & Jane a totally biased account of BDS, parroting local NYC politician leaders and wannabees. What’s more a suggestion of poison in our MSM press is that the NYT was not really speaking to Dick & Jane (who want jobs, a home, designer shoes, & NASCAR tickets, but speaking 2 its cosmopolitan audience across the USA. It shows what the smart NYT elite really think of “cosmopolitan goys.’ They are actually hicks, re politics. Sex & The City? LOL. Buy some more shoes, Carrie, & leave politics to wise Israel Firsters. Mr Big is a dufus goy, don’t U get it?

  14. iamuglow
    March 27, 2012, 2:05 pm

    This is strange – you have the NY Times doing its best to frame the issue as an attack on Israel but the NY Daily News – which is usually a rag when it comes to I/P runs this Op-Ed:

    “Why I’m backing the boycott of Israel
    A Park Slope Food Coop member explains her stance”

    Read more: link to nydailynews.com

  15. yourstruly
    March 27, 2012, 2:15 pm

    “israel to be torn apart and everybody to be massacred?”

    make that israel to be delegitimized so that everybody choosing to remain in what will be renamed palestine can enjoy equal rights.

  16. Gaius Baltar
    March 27, 2012, 2:47 pm

    “…people who want Israel to be torn apart and everybody to be massacred.”

    Like Israel tore apart Palestine and massacred Palestinians in 1948?

  17. Chu
    March 27, 2012, 2:52 pm

    The quote by Bloomberg is odd.

    He should stick to being the boring technocrat we know, because this
    comment [“The issue is there are people who want Israel to be torn apart and everybody to be massacred, and America is not going to let that happen.”] is strange for any politician to say.
    No one is going to massacre Israelis because of this vote at the coop for BDS.
    Using the term massacre, should be reserved for real issues, like the Massacre of Deir Yassen or Gaza’s Caste Lead. It is such a sloppy political comment.

    • Citizen
      March 27, 2012, 5:05 pm

      Chu, sorry, I don’t find Mayor Bloomberg’s statement odd at all–yes, totally illogical and biased, given the facts re the I-P situation, but very much catering to those many Jews in NYC who live in a fantasy world about the state of Israel as a comix book Hero & savior. I’m afraid you would not make a good politician, Chu, because you are way too much interested in facts. A few politicians who have geared their message to us Americans on facts are Nader, Ron Paul, & Kucinch–only Ron Paul is still there in the public eye (sort of, mostly as a MSM-described kook).

      • Chu
        March 29, 2012, 4:38 pm

        Citzen, it’s odd, but should be expected. Sometime Zionists say the most warped things. Underneath the surface is a lot of psychoanalytical details that need treatment.
        But massacre? where does that come from – this is about boycotting Israel. Sounds like he took his private jet to Tel-Aviv to hang with Netanyahu and Company and got a little worked up when asked about Israel.

  18. Kathleen
    March 27, 2012, 3:44 pm

    Matthew that would be tough to choose NewYork Bloody Times “low” They are partially responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands in Iraq. When they do cover the Israeli Palestinian conflict there is generally an apparent tilt. This is not surprise out of that bloody paper. Pick it up and read when someone leaves it behind but would never spend a penny on that blood soaked paper. Bloomberg using hysterics.

  19. piotr
    March 27, 2012, 5:28 pm

    Actually, it is a bit of fun. I am wasting some money on on-line subscription to NYT, so I could make some recommendations. NYT has nice science stories, Krugman, etc. but this “recommend” feature is cool. You can vote on the motion “Bloomberg is an idiot”. He is probably the only cited politician who sounded insane. NYC Jewish vote is actually tricky.

    I also wonder if BDS proponents should not consider “plan B”: every Israeli product should have a decently priced alternative. Usually you can get an identical product either from USA or from Lebanon or Jordan. On a shelf of controversial products they could display number of monthly sold packages and your lowly purchase of tea cookies could become a vote for justice.

  20. Justice Please
    March 28, 2012, 6:18 pm

    “The issue is there are people who want Israel to be torn apart and everybody to be massacred, and America is not going to let that happen.”

    Why do New Yorkers elect this asshole?

    Regarding the NYT, if it wasn’t for Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu, this dirty propaganda outlet would have gone bankrupt a long time ago.

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