Home  > Historical Perspectives
Park Slope Food Coop votes not to vote on proposed boycott of Israeli products (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS) By Alexander Nazaryan, Oren Yaniv AND Bill Hutchinson 03/28/12)Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/park-slope-brooklyn-coop-votes-boycott-israeli-products-article-1.1051776 NEW YORK DAILY NEWS NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
The final tally was 1,005 votes against holding a referendum of all members of the Brownstone Brooklyn grocery store, and 653 in favor

The Park Slope Food Coop’s venture into the treacherous waters of Middle East politics ended when its members voted overwhelmingly Tuesday not to go forward with a referendum to boycott Israeli products.

More than 1,600 members of the organic-food outpost packed the Brooklyn Technical High School auditorum for the most debated issue since the coop outlawed plastic grocery bags.

The final tally was 1,005 votes against holding a referendum of all members of the Brownstone Brooklyn grocery store, and 653 in favor.

The proposal, suggested by a small but vocal group, was defeated after 46 people voiced their opinion on whether banning Israeli olive paste and hummus could make an international impact.

The meeting started around 7:45 p.m. — 45 minutes late to accommodate the massive crowd — and ended with votes counted before 10.

Israeli-American Yoav Gaal was pleased with the outcome, saying advocates of referendum had a “distorted” view of his nation.

“Israel is on the right side of this argument,” Gaal said.

Other members pleaded for a yes vote, condemning Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian neighbors.

“Israel is a massive military power, funded with billions of our tax dollars . . . colonizing Palestinian land,” one member said during a debate.

Another scoffed at claims that the proposal was anti-Semitic.

“Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic,” a speaker declared.

As they entered the meeting, members were handed a ballot asking them to vote on whether to “participate in an international boycott, divestment and sanctions movement to support Palestinian human rights.”

One longtime member said the boycott would have gone against the communal principles of the coop.

“We are an example on how to shop for food in peace,” the member said. “Why would we want to ruin that?”

Had it passed, the measure would have been largely symbolic because the coop carries only a handful of Israeli products. (© Copyright 2012 NYDailyNews.com. 03/28/12)


Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY