Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Taking Off My Gloves

The Park Slope Food Coop runs on the good will of its members.  We show up for our shifts on time faithfully and we work diligently.  We are patient when the store is crowded and the lines are long.  While the products are not as difficult to obtain in other stores as they once were, the savings are still substantial.

It all works because there is the expectation that all are welcome and there should be mutual respect for boundaries and sensibilities.  I have written previously about the importance of neutral spaces.

BDS is a hate movement.  Plain and simple.  It has no place in our coop.  It should never have come up for discussion.  The people who brought it and continue to submit letters to the Linewaiters' Gazette are violating our community's core values.

In my letter to the Gazette Editors, I stated:
These anti-Israel letters are harmful to the community.  They contain distortions, misrepresentations and false statements.  The letters are designed to instill hatred; the content is at times anti-Semitic.
I suggested the editors either implement guidelines that included:
exact definitions for what crosses the boundaries from legitimate discussion to any form of hate speech or racism
or - if enforcing guidelines is too onerous for a grocery store newspaper - put a moratorium on these letters.  

As I mentioned last time, my letter received 2 responses from BDS supporters.  Here is where it gets interesting and we see the logic-challenged thought process of the BDS advocates.

Naomi tries the "change-the-subject" deflection:
the author implies that those who criticize the actions of the Israeli government and military are “anti-Semitic.” This is a common denunciation offered by those who defend Israeli policies.
But I didn't imply anything, did I?  I didn't mention Israel's policies, at all.  I quite clearly stated the letters are designed to instill hatred.  A pretty serious charge left unanswered.

David uses the deflection, punctuated with a denial and sprinkled with arrogance(emphasis mine):
And it should not be assumed that the 60% represented uniform sympathy for the Israeli government’s position, and even less so that many believed anti-Semitism motivated the boycott backers, perhaps the most absurd of all the anti-boycott advocates’ claims. One would be hard-pressed to find actual expressions of anti-Semitism and hate in the pro-boycott letters (all available for review in the Gazette archive on the Coop’s website) as opposed to the ubiquitous accusations of them in the anti-boycott letters. What’s obvious from those letters is that any and all questioning of the Israeli government’s actions should be viewed as anti-Semitism and hate, a sort of presumptive reading between the lines and pop-psychoanalyzing.
David is addressing things that I didn't say.  Aside from that, one wouldn't have to look very hard at all to find "actual expressions of anti-Semitism."  So, I hope to use the next several posts to list them.


  1. You are right on the money. Whenever I think true believer hatred is reserved for the hard right, I look at the hypocritical knee jerks on the left. Keep fighting the good fight against these self-righteous phonies!

  2. Sorry to hear youze still have to deal with these fanatics, all these months later.

    "One would be hard-pressed to find actual expressions of anti-Semitism and hate in the pro-boycott letters "

    It is certainly not a surprise for BDSers to claim they see no antisemitism or hear no hatred. Those ugly truths are extremely inconvenient for their 'movement.' They'd dispute most anything short of citing the Protocols, and even in that case I'm sure some would try to defend that. Antisemites, of course, love to be the ones to define what is, or is not, antisemitism themselves...


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