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Dublin Food Co-Op passes Israeli boycott motion
Last night at a Special General Meeting, members of the Dublin Food Co-Op voted overwhelmingly to boycott Israeli goods. This was the third attempt over the last 2 years to bring in a boycott of Israeli goods. Previous attempts failed to reach consensus or when put to a vote failed to reach the required 75%. Last night the mood was clearly in favour with a final tally of 50 for to about 6 against.
The Dublin Food Co-Op has The Rochdale Co-operative Principles (1844/1995) as its guiding principles which are 'based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others'.
It has been clear for some time that a coop based on these principles could not continue to sit on the fence while Israel continued its unabated assault on the Palestinian people and ignored the many calls by the world community to stop.
While the Dublin Food Co-Op itself has an unwritten 'policy' not to stock or sell Israeli produce, some of the fruit and vegetable producer/sellers have sold Israeli produce much to the disquiet of many members. Until recently inadequate labeling of products meant that members may not have known they were purchasing Israeli produce unless they specifically asked. Two years ago two thirds of the members voted for a boycott however it failed to reach three quarter vote required.
The Co-Op does stock some Palestinian produce (as a gesture of positive discrimination) and it has attempted to bring the food labeling in line with EU Directives. This has been generally observed and at a minimum the members could now make an informed decision beyond just Israel produce but also other regimes abusing human rights or for environmental reasons such as food miles.
Following the massacre by Israeli military on the Mavi Mara and the ongoing blockade of Gaza members petitioned the coop to call for a SGM on a boycott. (See below for wording).
At the meeting last night the proposer spoke eloquently and with passion and conviction as to why the members should support the motion. Member after member stood up expressing the many reasons why the motion should be passed and why the coop should stand up for the human rights of the Palestinian people and support their call for an international boycott of Israel. There was little dissention with some opposing who felt that the debate was unbalanced and 'unfair' on Israel ... others opposed the motion on the basis that this would politicize the coop.
At last the Dublin Food Co-Op can now, with true conviction, stand over their principles of 'ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others'.
Then BDS campaign is strengthening day by day:
Last weekend the Russell Tribunal on Palestine give a very strong endorsement for BDS campaign, in particular the IPSC's campaign seeking Irish multinational CRH's divestment from its Israeli interests. See here for more: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/98266
Also at the weekend the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU) in Ireland voted to support BDS. See here for more: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/98280
Last night in Dublin the Dublin Food Coop passed the Israeli boycott motion.
Also last night at a reception, hosted by the Palestinian Delegation, three Palestinian Church Leaders (Greek Orthodox, Anglican and Catholic) made a passionate appeal to the Irish people to support the BDS campaign. The Sadaka organised tour by the leaders seeks among to raise support among the churches in Ireland for the Kairos Palestine document ( http://www.kairospalestine.ps/?q=content/document ) .
Dublin Food Boycott Motion wording
This special general meeting of the members of Dublin Food Co-Op, proposed a motion calling for a boycott of all Israeli products at Dublin Food Co-op's premises.
The boycott, if agreed, shall remain in force until such time as the state of Israel agrees:
a) to allow humanitarian-aid and un-armed peace activists entry into Palestine without the threat of violence and death from Israeli armed forces
b) agrees to honor UN resolutions regarding the unlawful occupation of Palestine in the so called Israeli 'settlements'.
The boycott, if approved, also includes Dublin Food Co-Op's artisan food producer members and organic farmers who occasionally sell at the co-op, fruit and vegetables imported from Israel.