Slope says ‘nope’ to Israel boycott / B’klyn food co-op nixes Israel boycott (NEW YORK POST) By RICH CALDER 03/28/12)
NEW YORK POST
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The Park Slope Food Coop last night voted down a proposed boycott of
Israeli products, ending an emotional battle that brought Middle East
strife to the doorstep of trendy Brooklyn foodies.
Co-op members voted 1,005 to 653 to immediately kill the anti-Israel
proposal at a contentious meeting at Brooklyn Technical HS.
Had results gone the other way, the issue would have been put to a
mail ballot to all 16,000 co-op members.
“I am so happy that my life can go back to normal tomorrow morning,”
said Barbara Mazor, a leader of the anti-boycott contingent.
“And I’m so grateful to be talking about food only at the co-op.”
Mazor lashed out at the pro-boycott group and its ties to the
international movement called “B.D.S.”
The mission of “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” and is to pressure
Israel into pulling out of Palestinian territories.
“B.D.S. is not a peace movement,” Mazor said. “It is not helpful and
does nothing improve people’s lives.”
Irina Ivanova, a leader of the boycott effort, said the issue should
have been brought to a vote of the entire co-op.
“I am very disappointed that the co-op has not chosen to go the
democratic route,” said Ivanova, who was at least pleased with the
turnout at Brooklyn Tech.
The pro-boycott group can bring the issue up again, and Ivanova said
her side is weighing its options.
Thanks to last night’s vote, products from Israel — such as the
popular Sodastream seltzer maker, bath salts and paprika — will still
be stocked on shelves at the 39-year-old Union Street co-op.
The boycott movement became delicious political satire, ripe for
mockery by Comedy Central.
“The Daily Show” sent cameras to cover the co-op meeting for the
popular faux-news program.
Co-op members lined up around the block for their chance to speak and
vote. Carroll Gardens resident Ina Bransome, a member since the
1970s, joyfully marched out the meeting after the vote was announced
and screamed: “Democracy was served tonight!”
“I feel so good that everything went my way,” she said. “This is
something that’s going to keep the co-op together.”
While similar Israeli boycotts have been proposed in America, the
only grocery store nationwide to agree to one is a food co-op in
Olympia, Wash., in 2010. It’s since been sued for its actions.
Additional reporting by David K. Li (Copyright 2012 NYP Holdings,
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