Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Boycott of Israeli products:

A Pennsylvania Food Co-op debates boycott for 5 months.

Click on Co-op newsletter to enlarge it.

The Co-op newsletter is on the Web at:

Here is an excerpt from that Co-op newsletter:

"...Linda Hanna then stepped to the
podium to present the arguments for the

"A 25-year Co-op member, Hanna said the boycott of products made or
grown in the illegal Israeli settlements in
the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Golan
Heights was being proposed because 'the
settlements are a core injustice.'

"She said the organizers of the campaign against
settlement products are Arab-Americans
and Jewish Americans. Like a majority of
Israelis, they see the settlements as the
major obstacle to peace in the region."

Click on Co-op newsletter to enlarge it.

Click on Co-op newsletter to enlarge it.


"Despite distaste for settlements, Philadelphia’s Jews shun boycott"

"Central Ohio's Largest Circulation Jewish Newspaper"

Thursday, 23 June 2005

Full article on the Web at:

Brief excerpts:

"You would be hard-pressed to find many members of northwest Philadelphia’s vibrant Jewish community fully in favor of the presence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"Still, many members of an area co-op refused to go from there to boycotting produce grown in the territories.

"The controversy began in January, when a small group within Weavers Way Co-op, a food store owned and operated by its members, threatened to boycott produce from Israeli territories they consider illegally occupied. Working under the title Campaign Against Settlement Products, the group, with both Arab-American and Jewish members, claimed that buying the products supports the degradation of water resources in the area.


Weavers Way is a member-owned retail cooperative in Philadelphia’s West Mt. Airy section.

"The boycott proposal was brought to a vote in mid-May at the co-op’s biannual member’s meeting. It was overwhelmingly rejected, losing by at least 100 votes. But that victory materialized only after nearly five months of argument.

"Mount Airy, the neighborhood that is home to the co-op, prides itself on being a comfortable community for Jews to live in, Rachel Falkove, president of Germantown Jewish Centre, said. She voted against the boycott. 'We couldn’t be silent, couldn’t just let it happen [or] ignore it,' she said.

"The issue was first raised back in January by co-op member Linda Hanna, an Arab-American. She and the five members who make up the campaign learned where Israeli imported products originate. At the same time, members of local Jewish organizations — the Germantown Jewish Centre, Congregation Mishkan Shalom, P’nai Or Religious Fellowship of Philadelphia, the Jewish Children’s Folkshul, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom and the Tikkun Community — banded together to fight against the boycott.

" 'Initially we were very nervous about it,' Stuart Katz said. Katz, a Weavers Way board member, worked with leaders of those Jewish groups to form an organized response against the boycott.

"There were many points of view on Israel and the settlements, and what the best way to support a cause might be, but no one in the Jewish groups supported a total boycott of Israel products. Instead, the Jewish groups — some of whose members are found on Friday afternoons across the street from the Israeli Consulate in downtown Philadelphia, protesting the government’s continuing to build settlements — offered alternative solutions to the boycott.

"In literature handed out at the recent meeting, opponents of an outright ban suggested buying olive oil produced by Palestinian firms or goods grown or made by Israeli-Palestinian joint ventures...

"...The co-op rarely has boycotted products, Katz said. In the 1970s, California grapes were targeted because growers used pesticide. More recently, the co-op banned the sale of Nestle chocolate because of alleged child-labor violations. The chocolate boycott is still in place..."