Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Civic Society

Our fellow coop members promoting BDS tell us not fear conflict and division in the coop.  Divest This!, who has been following BDS 3 years, points out

the vehicle through which BDS tries to operate is civic society. Why go through such trouble to get this school or that church to sign onto the boycott or divestment program, if not to try to speak in the name of every member of that organization? For only by making such claims can BDS campaigners give the impression that their desire to see Israel punished through economic sanction comes from a large and respected institution (rather than a small, unrepresentative minority).

The “By-Any-Means-Necessary” tactics used to recruit these organizations into the BDS fold demonstrates how little interest boycotters have in these civic institutions, beyond their usefulness.

Take the seemingly trivial example of food co-ops, many of which operate under relatively loose rules and by-laws. To most of us, such loose governance makes sense in the context of a community of trust (the definition of a civic institution). For in such a trust community, it is assumed that individuals will take the needs of the larger organization and its members into account before acting (and thus air-tight rules and regulations are not required for normal, ongoing activity). But for BDSers, such loose rules do not represent the trusting nature of our civic life, but rather weaknesses to exploit for their own narrow ends.

But at the end of the day, this civic life is what holds our society together, providing endless building blocks which add onto each other one food co-op, one 4H club, one small church, one tiny town, one school, one city, one institution at a time. And when you tear at the fabric that holds such institutions together in order to achieve your own selfish ends, the damage caused has repercussions
The emphasis is mine.  Our BDS group admits this is divisive, yet they pursue it.  The Park Slope Food Coop needs to protect itself.

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