Park Slope Food Coop Votes to Require Supermajority to Approve Boycotts

New York cooperative grocery store votes to require stronger consensus in reaction to boycott attempts surrounding Israel's SodaStream.

Park Slope Food Coop
Beyond My Ken / WIkimedia Commons

A cooperative grocery store in New York voted to require a supermajority of 75 percent to approve future boycotts in reaction to a BDS attempt to boycott the Israeli firm SodaStream.

The vote at the general meeting last month of the Park Slope Food Coop in Brooklyn was 294-192 to require the supermajority rather than the current 50 percent plus one, the local Indypendent reported.

Since the co-op first started discussing a possible boycott of some or all Israeli products, Congregation Beth Elohim in the Park Slope section stopped allowing the co-op’s general meetings in its building, according to the Indypendent. Last month’s meeting was held at a local Catholic school, which had its auditorium filled to capacity.

Last April, a proposal was made at a general meeting to boycott SodaStream, which produces soda-making machines for the home. The company closed its controversial West Bank facility in September and moved to a plant in the Negev Desert.

In March 2012, the membership of the Park Slope Food Coop rejected a proposal to hold a mail ballot referendum for members on whether to stop selling Israeli goods.

Yoav Gal, a member of the Park Slope Food Coop who opposes the BDS stance, New York, 2015.
Yoav Gal (Courtesy)

The co-op, founded in 1973, is well known in New York City as a bastion of socially conscious consumerism. Each member is required to do a work shift of 2 hours, 45 minutes every four weeks in order to shop at the co-op, which offers an array of organic and other goods at significant discounts.