Skip To Content
Breaking News

Park Slope Food Coop Just Made Things Much Harder for BDS

The Boycott Israel debate is once more dividing members of a food cooperative in Brooklyn — and this time the anti-BDS side instituted new rules to make it more difficult to boycott anyone.

At a recent general meeting of the Park Slope Food Coop, members voted 294 to 192 to require a 75% super majority, instead of 50%-plus-one, to boycott anyone.

The pro-BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement was specifically targeting the popular home carbonation device called SodaStream, which is made by an Israeli company.

The pro-BDS camp, which wants Israeli isolated because of the continued occupation of the West Bank, was outraged.

“How can the Coop, a progressive institution, support food justice for Palestinians in a system that oppresses them?” wrote Naomi Brussel in the Linewaiters Gazette, the official newsletter of the coop.

The move to make a boycott more difficult is designed, the other side said, to stop what has been years of infighting.

“It is clear that proposals to boycott one or another entity or group can be extremely contentious and divisive. The proposal to raise the percentage necessary to 75% will help insure that there is more support and unanimity to any such proposal,” wrote Saul D. Raw.

A local synagogue, Congregation Beth Elohim, had already barred the coop from meeting there because of the BDS drive, The Indypendent reports.

Space is now rented out at local high schools and the January meeting was held in a Catholic school auditorium.

“We are committed to diversity and equality,” the coop says in its mission statement. “We oppose discrimination in any form. We strive to make the Coop welcoming and accessible to all and to respect the opinions, needs and concerns of every member.”


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.