Brooklyn Food Co-op Votes Against Boycott of Israeli Products

Park Slope Food Co-op, a common meeting ground for Brooklyn residents and Jews of all denominations, reached the decision following months of deliberations.

A New York food co-op, servicing thousands of Brooklyn residents of varying ethnicities and backgrounds, voted against a proposed boycott of Israeli goods and produce on Tuesday night.

With upwards of 15,000 members, of various ethnic and religious backgrounds, including many Jews, the Park Slope Food Co-op, established in 1973, has become a meeting point of sorts for Jews of different backgrounds and religious denominations.

Shoppers a tBrookyn Coop - March 2010
Nathan Dvir

The idea of an ideological boycott was not new to the co-op, as a general boycott of South African goods and products was held during the 1970's.

Initially discussed at a co-op member board meeting over two years ago, the proposed boycott was brought to a vote on Tuesday night, with 1,005 members voting against the boycott and 653 voting in favor.

Public Advocate and Brooklyn resident Bill de Blasio said he was proud of his neighbors for doing the right thing, calling the proposal inflammatory and destructive.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn called the idea "ill conceived" and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer denounced the proposed boycott as "an anti-Semitic crusade."

The debate over the proposed boycott at the 39-year-old cooperative market was mostly symbolic because the co-op carries only a half-dozen imported products from Israel.