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Slope says ‘nope’ to Israel boycott / B’klyn food co-op nixes Israel boycott (NEW YORK POST) By RICH CALDER 03/28/12)Source: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/slope_says_nope_s3INoe6zL9jxeR1Obk1utL NEW YORK POST NEW YORK POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
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, Inc. 03/28/12)


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