Co-op Member Forum Regarding Board Decision to Boycott Products from Israel

Jeff Reads the BoardIn this photo, Jeff reads a board that was filled up with comments after the Food Co-op Boycott Forum last night.
view larger

The house was packed when the forum started. As people filtered in members of nations of First Peoples were drumming, and the event was formally initiated with a First Peoples drumming and prayer ceremony. The prayer was for health, reconciliation, communication and dialogue, and peace, and was given by Robert Satiacum.

People gradually filtered out of the event as the night went on. Some people walked out of the hall right after speaking, without waiting to listen to the remaining speakers. I don't know how many people spoke, but it might have been close to one hundred. Toward the end, the amount of time allotted to the individual speakers was reduced—from one and a half minutes to one minute—in order to help make sure that the maximum number of people who wanted to speak were able to.

Rolf Boone has a descriptive article about the event, here.

Comments

Are ALL Jews Supportive of Israeli Policiy?

I have serious problems with this section of Rolf Boone's article: 

 

The board’s decision mobilized the South Sound Jewish community, which protested at the co-op’s eastside location in the days following the July 15 decision. They eventually were joined by supporters of the board’s decision, with both groups demonstrating outside the eastside store. Jewish residents said they felt left out of the board’s decision-making process, while supporters made clear that they were not targeting Jews, but the Israeli government.

 

It seems to treat as fact the deceptive "spin" that was promulgated by some of the more reactionary zionists, i.e. that it is "the Jews" against the world- monolithically supporting Israeli policy- and that if you don't agree with them, then you must be a racist.

Facts are, Jews are all over the map on this issue and many of us are strongly in support of the Boycott, Divestment and  Sanctions strategy.

Correct Austin

And it ignores the fact that there are also non-jews who are also against the boycott.

I agree

Thanks for pointing out this inaccuracy. It's an important part of ongoing dialogue.


Peace is Possible!

Stand With Us

This is another important ongoing aspect of this story: Stand With Us flyers were distributed prior to the forum yesterday. I am going to repeat my sincere belief that the efforts of this organization run contrary to true understanding and a real—mutually beneficial—peaceful resolution of conflict.

I also noticed people cutting in line. I am not going to name names, but I sincerely hope that this does not happen in any future events.


Peace is Possible!

Let us go to the Aug. 22nd meeting in Temple Beth Hatfiloh. Will

Let us go to the Aug. 22nd meeting in Temple Beth Hatfiloh. Will they allow Palestinian Christians to come in ?

 

I don't know

I don't know, but it would be good to ask. I am curious, so please report back if you do. Thanks.


Peace is Possible!

Probably not....

From Rabbi Seth's page on the Temple Beth Hatfiloh website:

This forum is an opportunity for Jewish members of the Olympia community to gather and talk about how the boycott has impacted them in a safe space. 

This is not a public debate or a call to action meeting. 

This is a Jewish community conversation, in which we are able to express our feelings, from either side of the boycott, without the fear of anti-Semitic comments or acts in response to our emotions. This is an opportunity to digest political actions in our immediate environment and discuss how these actions affect us personally, emotionally, financially, politically and spiritually.

It looks like the forum is being hosted at the Temple, but was not organized by the Temple. I imagine that Hava (who is organizing the event and who is really very cool) would be happy to talk with you and answer any questions you might have.

 

EDIT:  Oops.  That event was on the 1st.  I have no idea what's going on on the 22nd.

Bread & Roses

Hasbara

Shining a light on  what "Hasbara" is might be helpful now, in regards to my previous comments regarding disinformation around these issues:

 

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Hasbara

Hasbara

Hasbara refers to the propaganda efforts to sell Israel, justify its actions, and defend it in world opinion. Using contemporary euphemisms, it is Public diplomacy for Israel, or using a pejorative interpretation, then it is apologia. Israel portrays itself as fighting on two fronts: the Palestinians and world opinion. The latter is dealt with hasbara. The premise of hasbara is that Israel's problems are a matter of better propaganda, and not one of an underlying unjust situation.

 


The techniques utilized

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/skins/monobook/bullet.gif); padding: 0px;">
  • Smearing/defaming critics of Israel, aka, attacking the messenger. This is even the terminology found in the Hasbara Handbook
  • Selective discussion of issues
  • Framing of issues, and setting the terminology used in discussing Israel
  • Harassing media about its coverage, aka, flak
  • Challenging the portrayal of an alternative narrative, and attempting to keep the zionist narrative as the dominant one.

Hasbara Campus Manual

The http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/23/Icons-mini-file_acrob...); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; background-color: initial; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 16px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.middle-east-info.org/take/wujshasbara.pdf" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.middle-east-info.org/take/wujshasbara.pdf">Hasbara Handbook: Promoting Israel on Campus, is now available online. And this is an interesting admission (page 31 onwards):

Propaganda is used by those who want to communicate in ways that engage the emotions and downplay rationality, in an attempt to promote a certain message.

The manual goes on to describe seven propaganda techniques:

  1. Name calling: through the careful use of words, then name calling technique links a person or an idea to a negative symbol.
  2. Glittering generality: Simply put, glittering generality is name calling in reverse. Instead of trying to attach negative meanings to ideas or people, glittering generalities use positive phrases, which the audience are attached to, in order to lend positive image to things. Words such as "freedom", "civilization",…
  3. TransferTransfer involves taking some of the prestige and authority of one concept and applying it to another. For example, a speaker might decide to speak in front of aUnited Nations flag, in an attempt to gain legitimacy for himself or his idea.
  4. TestimonialTestimonial means enlisting the support of somebody admired or famous to endorse and ideal or campaign.
  5. Plain folks: The plain folks technique attempts to convince the listener that the speaker is a 'regular guy', who is trust-worthy because the are like 'you or me'.
  6. Fear: See fear.
  7. Bandwagon: See bandwagon.

The examples given are very interesting, and worth reading.

Proponents and Practicioners

Resources

External resources

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/skins/monobook/bullet.gif); padding: 0px;">
  • "http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/23/Icons-mini-file_acrob...); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; background-color: initial; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 16px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.middle-east-info.org/take/wujshasbara.pdf" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.middle-east-info.org/take/wujshasbara.pdf">Habara Handbook: Promoting Israel on Campus", World Union of Jewish Students, March 2002.
  • Fadi Kiblawi, http://www.sourcewatch.org/skins/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; background-color: initial; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 13px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://palestinechronicle.com/printstory.php?sid=20031023184739430" rel="nofollow" href="http://palestinechronicle.com/printstory.php?sid=20031023184739430">Israel's Campus Concerns, The Palestine Chronicle, Oct. 23, 2003. Quote: "The Hasbara Handbook prescribes fascinating instructions on attacking the messenger and avoiding the message at all costs ‘in ways that engage the emotions, and downplay rationality, in an attempt to promote’ their cause. In a section entitled ‘Name Calling,’ Israel's Jewish Agency writes, ‘Creating negative connotations by name calling is done to try and get the audience to reject a person or idea on the basis of negative associations, without allowing a real examination of that person or idea."
  • Conal Urguhart, http://www.sourcewatch.org/skins/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; background-color: initial; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 13px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,5072982-103681,00.html" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,5072982-103681,00.html">Israel uses TV show to find its best spin doctor, The Guardian, Nov. 27, 2004.
  • Gary Rosenblatt, "http://www.sourcewatch.org/skins/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; background-color: initial; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 13px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=10220" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=10220">Hasbara’ Goes Prime Time", The Jewish Week, December 3, 2004.
  • Hilary Leila Krieger, http://www.sourcewatch.org/skins/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; background-color: initial; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 13px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://student.cs.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/articles/article0011659.html" rel="nofollow" href="http://student.cs.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/articles/article0011659.html">Expert: Israeli PR improving, but..., Jerusalem Post, December 16, 2004. Interviews Frank Luntz during the 2004 Herzliya Conference.
  • Gary Rosenblatt, "http://www.sourcewatch.org/skins/monobook/external.png); background-repeat: no-repeat; background-attachment: initial; background-color: initial; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 13px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; background-position: 100% 50%;" title="http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=13562" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/newscontent.php3?artid=13562">Inside Israel’s Image War", The Jewish Week, January 19, 2007.