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Food Co-op Wars Revisited


A meeting of the Park Slope BDS

A meeting of the Park Slope BDS
Photo Credit: PSFC BDS on Facebook

Ginia Bellafante writes in the NY Times about the Park Slope co-op wars we told you about a week ago (In-Fighting at Brooklyn Food Co-op over Israel Boycott). She points out the obvious: “Calling for a boycott of Israeli-made foods at the Park Slope Food Co-op turns out to be a lot like calling for a boycott of Speedos in Minsk. In addition to Sodastream seltzer makers and replacement cartridges, there are currently only a handful of foods in the whole establishment produced in Israel. One of them, an olive spread made by a company called Peaceworks, uses olives grown in Palestinian  villages and glass jars made in Egypt. The company diverts 5 percent of its profits to peace-promoting causes.”

And, predictably, the use of a health food-related organization for political reasons has enraged the Hummus Party. I kid you not.

“‘The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, a campaign first initiated on 9 July 2005 by 171 Palestinian non-governmental organizations in support of the Palestinian cause for Boycott, Divestment  and International Sanctions against Israel) people have been having their events in the co-op itself,’ Marion Stein, a 15-year member, told me, ‘and that’s something that we in the Hummus group find very upsetting.’”

Essentially, objections to using a food co-op to attack Israel was a running theme among the objectors, like Matt Lewkowicz, a young composer, who said: “The whole thing is ridiculous, I have plenty of outlets for my political opinions. The co-op isn’t one of them. I just want really good dried fruit.”

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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