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article below posted October 23, 2010    Bookmark and Share
PORT TOWNSEND FOOD CO-OP REJECTS ISRAEL BOYCOTT

After "interference" by Israeli Consulate, proposal is nixed on technicality

from Jefferson County Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

(PORT TOWNSEND, WA)
Following the intervention of the Israeli Consulate and a national lobbying group, the Port Townsend Food Co-op Board of Directors decided to reject a proposal to boycott Israeli products on September 21.

“This kind of interference by the Israeli government and a national organization show how important boycotts are to Israel,” said Anna-Marie Murano, Olympia Food Co-op member, “Boycott supporters are telling Israel that it will not benefit from the ongoing oppression of Palestinians.”

A similar proposal was passed at the Olympia Food Co-op in Olympia, WA on July 16, the first of its kind to pass in the country. (See wafreepress.org/article/100607world-olympiabds&tescdivest.shtml.)

cartoon by George Jartos



In July, a group of Port Townsend Co-op member-owners presented a proposal to the board, asking that the store pull Israeli products from its shelves until Israel complies with U.N. decisions regarding the occupied territories, lifts the siege on Gaza, ends its hafrada (apartheid) policies against Palestinians, and recognizes the refugees’ right of return. Over 350 members signed a petition supporting the boycott.

The meeting, held at Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, was attended by approximately 120 people and at times very emotional.

"In five, ten, or fifteen years, when the full impact of what happens in Gaza, the West Bank, and in Israel becomes as known to the world as earlier crimes, I want to be able to look my daughter in the eye and say we did everything we could to stop the killing," stated boycott supporter Dena Shunra, drawing on her family's World War II experience and placing the boycott proposal in a historical context.

The reason stated for rejection of the proposal was that “the boycott proposal is inconsistent with the [Coop’s] boycott policy.” Board president Sam Gibboney said that there is nothing in the boycott policy that permits the boycotting of a country. The board's vote was four to two against the proposal.

The boycott proposal generated much needed discussion about Palestinian human rights, which opponents have not succeeded to silence. "Our anguish here is just a fraction of what people in Gaza experience," said Kit Kittredge of Quilcene, WA, a boycott supporter who has visited the Gaza Strip several times.

Boycott supporters are confident that the momentum will continue. Palestine is now a topic of discussion, and people will continue to educate themselves about the conflict, support Palestinian human rights, and organize support for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement.


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Comments (7)

Please keep comments polite and related to the above page.



#1 - Maisy - 10/25/2010 - 11:29
"there is nothing in the boycott policy that permits the boycotting of a country"

That's kind of a strange argument from the board. Normally, things are permitted unless they are expressly forbidden. Sounds like a "cop-out" to me.

#2 - kathleen - 11/06/2010 - 15:47
Sounds like the next step is to change that boycott policy to allowing boycotts of oppressive countries.

#3 - kellyP - 11/17/2010 - 20:55
Why is it these people that want to single out Israel for boycott and protests claim they do it because of human rights violations and never ever include the long list of countries that are also accused of violating human rights? Why is it that they single out the Jewish nation? What makes the Jewish nation deserving of different treatment? Why is it that these people that protest the Jewish nation using the exact language of those that have a long history of hating Jews?

#4 - wm.Padilla - 09/15/2012 - 13:06
The middle east has been at war for thousands of years, a boycott wont change anything. You vote for a. President that is not ." Pro Islam", But willing to work with our ally, Israel, May change things

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#7 - Christine Llewellyn - 03/03/2017 - 17:44
AS a small organic farm why hurt other small organic farms around the globe. The farmers themselves are trying to make a living just like those of us in Jefferson County. We do not need to punish farmers for something their government is doing whether or not you approve of it. I am glad to see that the boycott was thrown out as I know a number of Jewish people in PT who will no longer shop at the coop because they thought the boycott was in place. It is my feeling that we need to support sustainable farming wherever it is on the globe

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