What kind of Coop do we want to be? Do we want to be a place where people of all different perspectives and outlooks can come together and find common ground in their interest in healthy fresh food and their willingness to be part our collective enterprise? Are we to be a community where we can assume that each person who joins it will act for the good of the community as a whole and will not inflict damage on that community and pain on its members, even for a cause she believes in strongly? Or are we to be a place where anyone can promote any political agenda, and exploit the good name of our Coop?
The members promoting a referendum on joining the BDS movement claim “avoiding discussion on an important issue does not build unity – it builds anxiety and mistrust.” So they have imposed a discussion of the Middle East conflict upon us. They want the Coop to be “welcoming to everyone who would express themselves on this issue.”
But the discussion they offer is not an honest one. This group conducted a program in the Coop on Dec 4. It was attended by about 20 people in addition to the organizers and presenters. I do not doubt the presenters sincerely believe themselves to be advocates of peace. Yet, they appeared singularly unknowledgeable regarding certain facts, and in some case transmitted information that was outright wrong. Not everything expressed at this program was consistent with the true pursuit of peace.
What kind of peace activist wears a t-shirt with the emblem of the terrorist organization responsible for the 1974 murders of 17 Puerto Ricans, 1 Canadian and 9 Israelis at Lod airport? What kind of peace activist suggests that suicide bombings directed against civilians is justified? What kind of peace activist stays silent when someone says that, and will not unequivocally say “murder of civilians is wrong in all cases”? Is this the “expressions on this issue” we want to welcome at the coop? Or does it “build anxiety and mistrust”?
If you are a Coop member, please join me and more than 200 others in telling these “peace activists” to drop their BDS campaign at the Coop. The Coop doesn’t want or need this discussion. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.