NY food co-op votes to require supermajority to approve boycotts


(JTA) — 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.

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.

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