We are a group of members of the Park Slope Food Coop who believe that Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a valid tactic in the struggle for peace and equality in Israel and Palestine.
We also affirm, like the Coop’s founders, that the Coop as a community stands for human rights, food justice and positive global interdependence.
We are African-American, Arab, Asian, European-American, Latina/o, and South Asian. We are Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, & agnostics. We are educators, students, librarians, designers, non-profit workers, medical professionals, business people and artists. We are people of all ages. We are like you.
Each of us has been actively involved in movements that work for peace and against injustice right here in the U.S. as well as in other countries where human rights are violated. The BDS movement is similarly in keeping with our values. BDS is a nonviolent tactic recently adopted by the decades-long Palestinian movement to end Israel’s violent and illegal occupation of their lands, gain equal rights, and achieve peace, freedom and economic stability.
We think that joining the BDS movement will help send a message to Israel that it must honor international law and human rights. It will also make the Coop a more welcoming place for all people who want justice realized in Palestine. And taken in a larger context, we believe that BDS is one of multiple ways to participate in the global struggle against all forms of oppression.
Equally importantly, we believe in exercising the democratic process at the Coop on this issue. That is why we requested a referendum vote so that all Coop members might have the opportunity to vote on whether the Coop should participate in the larger international BDS movement and work towards peace for Israelis and Palestinians.
Real community—the kind Coop aspires to be—is resilient enough to embrace respectful dialogue about our differences. While avoiding the conversation tears at the fabric of our community and violates the deep convictions upon which it was founded, talking through this issue in an honest, disciplined way can only strengthen our community.