Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Sodastream

On Thursday we bought a SodaStream machine at the Park Slope Food Coop. I am very pleased with it. It is easy to use, it looks nice and the soda is actually fizzy.

We had a Sypholux soda maker in the past, but I never liked it. In addition to having a name that sounds like a disease, it was heavy, hard to dry between uses, and it didn't make good soda.

I was skeptical about the Sodastream, but I decided to try it anyway. I am glad I did. It will pay for itself in less than 1 year. I won't have to carry home seltzer bottles anymore.

It is ironic. If it hadn't been targeted for boycott, I would never have known that this machine existed or was even sold at the coop. Sodastream is produced by an Israeli company. In the Food Coop it is found on the top shelf above the bottled juices, opposite the bulk items. I never look up there.

There were 3 Sodastream units on the shelf when I started my work slot this morning. When I left the store, 2 had already been purchased. It makes a great gift. Oh yeah, and when I googled SodaStream, I found out the stock is performing really well.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Two Faces of Hate

The following is a guest post from one of the More Hummus, Please members.

The Two Faces of Hate
R. Parsons, 9/11/2011

When it comes to phobic behavior toward Israel there are basically two distinct forms of the malady; rabid, bald-faced anti-Semitism and the more polite and less honest “come, let us reason together” approach. Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas characterize the former. The International Solidarity and BDS Movements typify the latter. But hostility toward Israel was already active, even before it's founding

One individual, who stands out for presetting the region for war against the new Israel, was Haj Amin al-Husseini, a pan-Arabist quoted as saying, “kill all Jews wherever you find them.” From 1921 to 1948, al-Husseini was Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Before, during, and after this time he violently opposed a national home for the Jewish people and fomented large vitriolic anti-Jewish riots in 1929 and 1936.

Bridging the time between the First and Second World Wars and to a lesser extent the period after the rebirth of Israel, he opposed every attempt at making a reasonable accommodation to the new Jewish state. In fact, he was the kind of guy Hitler appreciated - literally and vice-versa.

During the Second World War he recruited 20,000 Muslims for the Waffen SS, who participated in the murder of Jews in Bosnia and Croatia. He met with both Hitler and Mussolini, expressing his solidarity with fascism and his vehement opposition to Jews immigrating to Israel. He set up organizations for the young men based on the Hitler Youth and shared the Nazi obsession with genocide. He made Arabic broadcasts to the Middle East, promoting the Nazi program. Active, entrenched, and violently anti-Semitic atmosphere that permeated the region just before Israel was founded during the British Mandate period can be largely credited to his influence.

Since that time Israel has had to deal with the al-Husseini mentality. Whether it comes in the form of clearly hateful or seemingly reasoned opposition to Israel, the disease is the same. The fact that the BDS movement insists on calling Israel apartheid, a priori, when it is anything but, is the best litmus of the al-Husseini connection. The three conditions of BDS - boycott, divestment and sanction - are quite simply a formula for the destruction of Israel.

BDS is not a movement for peace and justice. It is a tool of those driving the same kind of hate as the murderers who blow up busses and launch missiles from Gaza or Lebanon in a seemingly more acceptable, less violent, form. However it presents, it is a toxic stew that serves only those with bad intentions toward Israel and a fundamental dishonesty about the peace process.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Specatacular BDS Fail in Sacramento

BDS was a big loser in Sacramento over the weekend.

Divest This! has all the details.

It is enough to say that in balloting last week at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, two pro-BDS candidates for the Board of Directors were defeated AND a vote to join BDS was defeated 83% to 17%. Booya!

I am trying to find out why they held the vote, when originally the Policy Committee turned it down. I know the pro-BDS group had started a legal action against the co-op. Maybe they just wanted to get it all behind them.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why Am I a Member of the Food Coop?

It's simple.  My coop membership is worth a few thousand dollars a year in savings.  If I weren't saving money, I wouldn't be a member.  And I find Working there the required 33 hours a year is pleasant for me.  If it became unpleasant, I would stop being a member.

In the September 8, 2011, Linewaiters' Gazette there is a letter from a member who complains(!) the management staff is doing "everything in their power to maintain their Co-Op as a food store and not as a social experiment or an activist force."

Well, it happens to be my Coop, too. And the management is doing exactly what it is supposed to do: keep the store well-running, so people can save money. Because I guarantee, when people stop saving money, they will stop being members.

We have lots of choices for places to buy groceries.  We choose which store based on our own cost/benefits analysis. The Park Slope Food Coop is a grocery store with an unusual, perhaps unique, business model, but it is still a grocery store first.

We have many choices for engaging in "social experiments" or being "an activist force." Don't coopt the Coop.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Candid Camera

How do Israelis treat Arabs?  What happens when an Arab woman tries to buy coffee and the counterman refuses to sell to her?  The hidden camera tells all.

(h/t Victor Shikhman)