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.”