Last night, more than 1,000 members of the Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn voted against holding a referendum about a proposed boycott against Israeli-made products such as hummus, kosher marshmallows and organic paprika. The vote means that a further vote about the boycott will not move forward.
The proposed boycott, organized by a group calling itself Park Slope Food Co-op Members for Boycott Divestment Sanctions, had sought to use economic pressure to compel Israel to change its policies toward Palestine.
Nearly 1,700 of the co-op's 16,000 members gathered in Brooklyn Technical High School's auditorium on Tuesday night for the vote. The vote itself was delayed nearly an hour to allow everyone to enter the voting site. According to the New York Daily News, more than 1,000 members voted against moving forward with the referendum to further discuss the boycott. An additional 653 members voted in favor of continuing the discussion.
City officials, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, came out against the proposal on Monday. Bloomberg encouraged New Yorkers to buy more products from Israel, the Times reported. The boycott was also opposed by another group of co-op members calling themselves "More Hummus, Please."
The proposed boycott was noticed far outside of New York City. The Washington Post covered the history of the boycott, which was first proposed in 2009 but took a few years to get through the co-op's democratic process. And on television, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" covered the controversy Tuesday night in its own inimitable style:
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