Friday, July 20, 2007

Ann Arbor City Councilmember rails against Boycott of Apartheid Israel,
at People's Food Co-op

Fresh local commentary on City Councilmember Lowenstein, on her war against the Boycott-Israel campaign, at Ann Arbor's People's Food Co-op.
See below.

And again today, the President of the People's Food Co-op Board, in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan, expresses sheer horror...

...Horror that Israel's truly Nazi occupation of Palestinian land should ever be called... Nazi.
Again, she screams "anti-Semitism".

Again, she turns a cold, stone face to the starving, bleeding masses of Palestine, who are suffocating under a most racist Israeli military occupation:

"co-op and boycott"

July 19th, 2007

On the Co-op President's Blog, at:

"There have been a few new responses to my post June 4 on the proposed referendum. A number of differing positions being taken, which I welcome.

"Since I wrote that post a lot has happened. I have had the chance to talk to dozens and dozens of people - averaging a couple every day. Nearly all are calling and writing to express concern and upset about the proposed referendum. A few call to convince me of a correct position - irrelevant, my role is to support a fair and open election process and my personal opinion matters only as far as my personal vote for or against.

"There was the incident at the board meeting last week and the repricussions from that - including not knowing now where the board will meet next as we can not return to a place of business as we can’t guarantee the conduct of our members.

"The flyer which spells Israel using a swastika, and links to a web site using profanity and similar symbology, has been an issue I have not mentioned. It is being distributed independently from the group who brought the boycott referendum, but by former members of that group. Is there any question that the use of a swastika in that form and with the accompanying language is intended to be anti-semitic and inflammatory? The Boycott Israeli Goods group has spoken out against that specific flyer. I join them.

"I will continue to support the referendum process, as I am required to do, I hope the membership makes a wise decision, and I am particularly interested in making sure people understand the process we are now engaged in. But the issue will not dominate this blog, as it already dominates so much of my time. All comments to the blog have to be approved, and I will continue that as I get much more spam than real comments. Comments that are inflammatory and that don’t seem to contribute to a discussion will not be approved, or will be removed."


And more comments, from the Co-op President's Blog today.

They focus on Ann Arbor City Councilmember Lowenstein:

* on Lowenstein's attack against the Co-op boycott-Israel effort,

* on Lowenstein's attack against the City Human Rights Commission's landmark Palestine resolution--

All on the Web at:

Helen Fox Says:

  • "With all due respect to City Council Member Joan Lowenstein, her comment: “About five years ago, they used their bullying tactics to force the Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission to issue a resolution calling for divestment (essentially a boycott) from Israel” is simply not accurate. As Chair of the Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission at that time, I can attest that we looked carefully at both sides of the issue by inviting someone from the Jewish Federation to speak against divestment as well as hearing from community members who supported it. As many on the HRC at that time did not know much about the Israel Palestine situation, they had the opportunity to ask questions and hear dialogue between presenters who disagreed with each other. After that lively, but quite civil session, we put the matter to a vote. The decision was unanimous to advise City Council to support divestment. The resolution was drafted and redrafted over many weeks by HRC members, and finally approved to the satisfaction of all. This is the kind of process that the Co-op should be engaged in on such a serious and contentious topic. Of course it’s going to be divisive, since our diverse and well educated community has many people of Middle Eastern origin, many Muslims, and many Jews with a great variety of opinions, as well as concerned citizens from other backgrounds and religious persuasions. Since I am no longer a HRC member, I can’t speak to why they would have rescinded the divestment resolution. In fact, this is the first I heard of it."

  • Dovy Says:

  • "Ms. Lowenstein, I am Jewish. I am an Orthodox Jew. And I am pleased that people are undertaking a boycott of products from Israel. Since when is the State of Israel immune from criticism for its ethnocratic and racist actions that would never be tolerated in the United States, even in Anne Arbor! Any issue of harassment and violation of civil rights in the community is to be taken up with the police and courts. One issue has nothing to do with the other. However, for some strange reason “bringing together” means turning a blind eye to the horrible suffering of the Palestinians in a regime that violates EVERY fundamental value of the Jewish religion!

  • Please check for more information. "


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