The Olympian reports that five people are suing the Olympia Food Co-op over its boycott of Israeli products. According to the Olympian, the civil complaint states that the Co-op board violated policy by implementing the boycott. In other words, the plaintiffs are supposedly suing over “process.”
Some things to note:
1. Three of the five plaintiffs ran for the Olympia Food Co-op board late last year.
2. All three lost by a wide margin.
3. After they lost, they spread rumors that the reason they lost was because there was cheating in the board elections.
4. They carried this rumor over to Jon Haber’s silly blog.
5. On Dec. 16, 2010, one of the plaintiffs went to the Co-op board meeting where she tried to get one of the winning candidates disqualified.
6. This plaintiff also stated that the election was “the dirtiest election since the Bush dynasty.” She compared it to “a third world country with ancient blood feuds bubbling to the surface.” (She really said that. I took notes.)
7. This plaintiff had previously criticized the Co-op board for not “address[ing] the secret/underground national security government.”
But there’s more:
Yesterday a report was released by Electronic Initfada that connects the plaintiffs, the lawsuit, and their lawyer with the Israeli Consulate and a notorious organization called StandWithUs:
As members of the local Muslim and Jewish communities who strongly support the recent decision of the Olympia Food Co-op to boycott Israeli goods, we feel called to add our voices to the discussion surrounding the Co-op’s decision. Reading much of the local press, or listening to the arguments rehearsed by vocal opponents of the boycott, one gets the impression that the issue belongs essentially to two polar groups of community members. At one pole are those who are depicted as a small group of passionate, though regrettably misguided, activists who single-mindedly support the boycott. At the other pole is another small group who are fervently opposed to the boycott, either because they believe the boycott to be “anti-Semitic,” or because they feel dissatisfied with the “process” through which the boycott was instituted, or with the absence of “dialogue” in the run up to the decision. In between these poles falls the greater Olympia community, painted as rife with division, and in dire need of “healing.”
I believe the subject of Israel/Palestine is important and it should be debated. However, right now problems related to Israel/Palestine are being used as a smoke screen for another problem, one that is closer to home. It won't be possible for our community to effectively address Israel/Palestine until we face what happened in July. The boycott had an unprecedented absence of community education in advance of the decision. There are reasons for this and our community needs an honest reckoning. Not a blaming session, but a chance to acknowledge the situation.
In the 19 years that I've been an OFC member I've learned about the thorny political elements of cotton farming, high fructose corn syrup, organic food standards, the suffering of migrant workers, and other complex political subjects from OFC education efforts related to building consensus and forming OFC policies. All of this helped us unite around various OFC efforts, spread the word and "vote with our dollars" in and out of the co-op. We had nothing like that in July. This was a mistake. It can be easily corrected, forgiven and we can move forward together.
It is community reconciliation and education that IOC is working towards, a foundation of trust on which you and I can stand and address all sorts of things, including Palestinian suffering. I can't imagine a debate format being part of any OFC education process on any subject, let alone being particularly useful for the community at this time on this subject. I believe that when Olympia cooperates we are at our best, we accomplish great things and we serve as a beacon of hope for the world.
I'm not a regular here on the blog, but I have some news and a sort of call to artists -
Wasn't sure about blog etiquette so I posted it in the classifieds and anyone interested should look there for all the info.
or here: http://olyblog.net/new-ceramics-studio-coming-soon
If it's okay for this posting to be in the blog, please let me know and I'll adjust it. Thanks Thanks Thanks!
I would never participate in such an ironic display of civil disobedience but if I did I would go about it in the following way... I would first go to a website called zazzle.com and do a search for driving bumper stickers or just go -> here.
Then I would get with a friend and pool up some money to order these bumper stickers in bulk for a discount. Lastly, I would wait until dark and ride my bike around town placing the stickers at high traffic stop signs.
I would also check them periodically to note when they are taken down so I can sticker them again.
The Olympia Food Co-op is expanding in downtown Olympia. Are you part of our future?
One of the goals of our expansion project is to attempt to co-locate our new grocery store with other organizations that further our mission of "contributing to the health and well-being of people by providing wholesome foods and other goods and services, accessible to all, through a locally-oriented, collectively managed, not for profit cooperative organization that relies on consensus decision making."
In conjunction with the Northwest Cooperative Development Center, we are inviting potentially interested organizations to join us at the Olympia Center, Room 102, on Tuesday, February 12 from 6:30-8:30.
The goal of this meeting is to begin discussing how we might work together to collectively develop a facility in downtown Olympia that meets our individual businesses needs, as well as the needs of our larger community.
Won't you join us?
We promise a lively discussion, tasty treats, and the chance to be a part of a project that we believe can help transform our community for the better.
If you plan to attend please let us know so we can be sure to have enough chairs and snacks for everyone. If you need more information, please contact TJ Johnson at email@example.com