Coop controversy

Israel boycott battle resumes in Brooklyn

The Park Slope Food Coop will vote next month on whether to consider a boycott of Israel

Park Slope Food Co-op logo.
Park Slope Food Co-op logo.

NEW YORK — A campaign to boycott Israeli products is again making waves in a trendy Brooklyn neighborhood.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Park Slope Food Coop will vote next month on whether to hold a referendum on the potential boycott, which was first proposed several years ago. Turnout for the vote is expected to be so large that the coop is abandoning its normal meeting venue — a synagogue, according to the Gothamist website — for the auditorium at Brooklyn Technical High School.

While the issue is proving highly divisive, the Wall Street Journal can’t help poking subtle fun at members of the coop — who are, after all, debating whether to have a vote on whether to have a vote. Previous controversies at the 40-year-old coop have included whether to sell meat and beer, the article notes. Gothamist, for its part, expresses frustrated boredom with the controversy, referring to it as a “long local nightmare” that has unfolded after “years and years and years of debate.”

For some, however, the issue is sparking stronger reactions. Among those interviewed in the Journal article is Orthodox coop member Barbara Mazor. “Anguish” over the controversy has already caused Mazor to cut down on her visits to the grocery store, which she says she’ll boycott if it decides to boycott Israel.

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