Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Ballot announced for "Boycott of Israeli Products", by People's Food Co-op

From the People's Food Co-op Web site, at:


Ballot PDF

Click on the link below to open the document titled "Referendum ballot 2007.pdf"

Print the ballot, fill it out completely and drop it off at the store or mail it in an envelope to:

People's Food Co-op

216 N. Fourth Ave.

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

attn: Ballot

Please allow enough time for mailed ballots to reach the store on or before Saturday September 29 (no mail service on Sunday September 30). Click here for the ballot

In order to print the ballot you must have Adobe Reader installed. To install Reader, click the link below:

Voting Procedures

Voting on this referendum will take place Saturday September 1st — Sunday September 30 2007.

Ballots are available in the store, or on this site above


Boycott of Israeli Products

Shall the People's Food Co-op declare that its official policy will be to boycott all Israeli goods until the Palestinian people themselves call off the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign against Israel, as represented on the Campaign's Web site, http://www.bds-palestine.net/, to the maximum extent allowed by our legal and financial counsel? AND during such a boycott, Shall the People's Food Co-op purchase no goods made, grown, or originated in Israel or in Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank, to the maximum extent allowed by our legal and financial counsel?

Opposing Viewpoints

Why a PFC Co-op Humanitarian Boycott of Israeli goods?

The Palestinian people, with the support of Jewish and Israeli peace groups, labor unions, churches, and social justice organizations, are urging the international community to boycott Israeli products to show their resistance to Israel's military occupation of Palestinian lands (http://www.bds-palestine.net/).

Such a humanitarian boycott is a time-honored peaceful protest against state violence and repression.

An international boycott contributed to ending Apartheid in South Africa. A new international boycott similarly may help end the suffering caused by the Israeli occupation, which violates Palestinians' human rights and creates severe humanitarian crises:

1.The Israeli military instills a climate of fear and violence. According to the Israeli human rights center, B'Tselem, the IDF has killed over 4,000 Palestinians and injured over 30,000 just since Septem- ber 2000. Nearly a fourth of these were children. Over 10,000 Palestinian men, women and children are enduring lengthy incarceration, often without due process (http://www.btselem.org/; http://www.ifamericansknew.org/).

2.Human rights violations by the Israeli government include demolishing thousands of Palestinian homes, uprooting Palestinians' olive trees, diverting their water, and constructing the Apartheid Wall within Palestinian territory (condemned by the International Court of Justice). Israel is building illegal, Jewish-only settlements with a network of settlers' roads that further fragment Palestinian lands, violating UN Resolution 242 and the Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 1. Over 65 UN resolutions have cited Israel's violations of human rights and UN mandates.

3.The Israeli military deprives Palestinians of freedom of movement. It confines them within their towns and villages and obstructs the few roads they are permitted to use with blockades and hundreds of checkpoints, where they suffer harassment and humiliation. These restrictions of movement are causing economic collapse, malnutrition, stress, and even loss of life because they separate Palestinians from hospitals, farms, jobs, and much-needed water, as well as from their families and places of worship. The humanitarian crisis is now acute.

Israel, like all nations, has security concerns. However, control through violence and the threat of violence will never resolve these disputes over land, water and human rights. In fact, the violent repression of Palestinians arouses anger throughout the world, fomenting resentment and instability that imperil Israel. Agreements reached through negotiations and international peacekeeping measures are needed to resolve the impasse.

A growing number of Americans believe what much of the world already sees: a) Israel is pursuing a deliberate policy of expansion and ethnic cleansing that is creating an Apartheid-like situation, and b) It will reverse this policy only if it is persuaded by outside pressure.

The US taxpayer underwrites these violations through billions of dollars granted annually to Israel. Support for the boycott is a small gesture an individual Co-op member can make for human rights and justice.

Coop members may terminate the boycott by voting in a future referendum initiated by members or the board. The current referendum states a Palestinian role, but members may make this decision through a future ballot measure, as provided in the co-op bylaws.

The boycott upholds the Co-op's key values of "integrity and social responsibility" and its call for "mutually supportive relationships among members of the global community." The Co-op is committed to "environmental responsibility and a sustainable community for all" — a goal at odds with Israel's ongoing ecological, human, and infrastructure degradation of the West Bank and Gaza. The Co-op supports better working conditions for growers in developing countries, as with its support for Fair Trade. In joining the humanitarian boycott, the Co-op will join unions' call for freedom and humane working conditions for Palestinian farmers and workers. A stand on these principles can build and strengthen Co-op membership.

The Co-op will be one of many organizations that support this growing international movement including Britain's largest trade union; its academic, journalists, and public employees unions; the World Council of Churches; Jewish Voice for Peace; Not in My Name; Global Exchange; Human Rights Watch; Jews for a Just Peace-Europe & Canada; Congress of South African Trade Unions; Gush Shalom-Israel; War on Want; Canadian Public Employees Union; Boycott Israeli Goods-Ireland, England, Scotland; US Green Party; Sisters of Mercy; Maryknoll Sisters; Anglican, Episcopal & Methodist Synods & Assemblies; Presbyterian Church-US; United Church of Christ; Veterans for Peace; National Lawyers Guild; Women in Black-Los Angeles; WILPF-Canada; and many others.
— Ann Arbor B.I.G (Boycott Israeli Goods) Campaign


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