Our long local nightmare is almost over. After years and years and years of debate the issue of banning Israeli products at the Park Slope Food Co-Op is finally coming to a vote. Well. A vote to decide if it should come to a vote—this is the Co-op, after all.
The gist of the debate is if the socially conscious market should take a political stand against Israel by banning its products. On the one side is the group Park Slope Food Co-op Members For Boycott Divestment Sanctions (they have a website!) and on the other side are people who just want some nice fresh food to feed their families (also, Alan Dershowitz). Unfortunately, the former are fierce on their points, which means the upcoming vote is going to be a huge meeting.
Normally the Co-Op uses a 400-seat synagogue for its monthly meetings, but with 15,500-plus members and a hot topic up for debate, the market has gone and rented out the massive auditorium at Brooklyn Tech for the March 27 occasion. So will tasty hummus reign supreme? Or will the boycotters have their day? Really depends on who shows up.
The Co-Op has certainly boycotted things before ("previous bans have included everything from Nestlé, because of its promotion of formula over breast-feeding, to products from South Africa during apartheid, and Chilean grapes during the Pinochet regime") but the issue of Israel in New York is never an easy one. Especially when, as one Co-Op member who somehow hadn't heard about this debate until the Journal asked them their opinion put it, "It's kind of silly. We expect an Israeli company that makes flat bread to influence their government's policies?"