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Glenn Beck Calls Park Slope Food Coop's Potential Boycott Of Israeli Goods 'Anti-Semitic'


First Posted: 02/23/2012 10:12 am Updated: 02/24/2012 7:48 pm

Glenn Beck thinks the potential boycott of Israeli products by the Park Slope Food Coop is "anti-semitic," The Brooklyn Paper reports.

The former Fox News pundit and current internet TV host attended a fundraiser for the Gush Katif Museum in Crown Heights Wednesday where he told a room full of Israel-supporters, "What is happening with the food co-op where they are seriously considering a boycott of Israel?” he said, comparing the suggested ban to drawing swastikas. "When you use words like 'I'm just anti-Israel' or 'I'm just anti-Zionist' -- that's anti-Semitic.."

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Borough Park), also in attendance, seemed to agree with Beck. "You have some idiots in Brooklyn," he said. "Nothing like a self-hating Jew!" (Hikind is the one who used a picture of Lady Gaga to argue against the same sex marriage bill in June).

The Coop decided this week to hold a vote on whether the 39-year-old store, which boasts 16,000 members and specializes in organic products, should hold a referendum on a ban of Israeli goods like hummus, paprika and seltzer.

(To recap, that's a decision to vote on whether to hold a vote--the latest news in the ongoing, three-year saga.)

The proposal, being put forth by the Park Slope Food Coop Members for Israeli Boycott Divestment Sanctions, is in response to Israel's treatment of Palestine. "Economic engagement with the state of Israel gives it the means and muscle to oppress, destabilize, and colonize the Palestinian people," wrote a Coop member in a recent newsletter, The New York Daily News reports.

On a blog dedicated solely to stopping BDS at the Coop, however, a member writes, "The 3 demands of BDS are based on a faulty understanding of the relevant international law. The real goal of BDS is to end the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. Thus, BDS has been rejected over and over by every institution where it has tried to get an honest endorsement. BDS looks forward to yet another stunning defeat at the Park Slope Food Coop."

Other members just don't care. "You will not change Israeli policy by boycotting its products," Alan Rosner told The Daily News. "If it is approved, it will be damaging to the coop and a futile exercise."

The Coop has a history of taking a stand on major issues. The Wall Street Journal remembers:

The decision to introduce meat at an institution where organic and nonorganic products don't comingle was divisive. The green light to sell beer came only after two referendums spaced more than a decade apart. And a ban on bottled water took two years to push through...

Previous bans have included everything from Nestlé, because of its promotion of formula over breast-feeding, to products from South Africa during apartheid, and Chilean grapes during the Pinochet regime.

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Filed by Christopher Mathias  |  Report Corrections