The Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn has been a focus of boycott activism targeting Israeli goods since 2011. Those efforts have so far failed to convince that progressive community, now 43 years old, to boycott Israeli products, but tonight there’s another vote on the question aimed at defusing boycott activism.
A Coop board member has put forward a motion to require a 75 percent vote in favor of boycott measures. This motion does not mention Israel, but it is clearly aimed at preempting a proposal first put forward last spring that the Coop boycott Sodastream products because they are made in part in facilities in the occupied West Bank. Traditionally, the Coop has voted on political questions such as boycott with an up-and-down vote.
The Coop has never voted on that Sodastream proposal of eight months’ standing. I’m told that the leadership has begged off, saying that it can’t find a space to house such a discussion. But they did find a space big enough to house tonight’s meeting.
Only Coop members are allowed in to tonight’s meeting. The sponsor of the rule, Jesse Rosenfeld, the secretary of the Coop, says that the 75 percent threshhold would end “division and hostility.” As if such a bureaucratic dodge is going to allow a forward-thinking community to avoid the Israeli occupation.
Here’s the latest issue of the Linewaiters’ Gazette, which includes a lot of debate over Israel boycott initiatives.