The controversy surrounding Israel and the Boycott Divest and Sanctions movement continues to tear at the fabric of America’s most hallowed institutions. This spring, it was the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign; last week, it was the University of California. Now, it’s the venerated aisles of the Park Slope Food Co-Op.
Brooklyn Paper reports that four co-op members have been banished to Union Market and Whole Foods for an entire year, thanks to their actions during a hearing about a proposed ban on Israeli products. The paper got some truly incredible quotes about the fight that sparked their suspension, which involved anti-boycott members jumping onto a stage and attempting to block the display of what were reportedly “very provocative” photographs:
The exiled members acknowledge they literally pulled the plug on a presentation about the sale of an Israeli-made product by the pro-boycott bloc, but at least one contends that they should be praised for standing up to what she believes is a faction of “fascists” dedicated to spreading lies about Israel.
“I didn’t go up there to be a hero, but I am a hero,” said Rhudi Andreolli, a 43-year-long member of the co-op now serving her year-long suspension. “I stood up against tyranny and propaganda. This is so serious when you take a group of people and boycott them because you make up these vicious lies — in a co-op!”
And so on.
Their suspension is only the latest salvo in a battle over BDS that’s been raging at the co-op for years. We hope the two sides can resolve their differences peaceably, but if one can’t live with the other, perhaps a second co-op might be opened— a sort of two-store solution, if you will.