Park Slope Co-op to ban Israeli products?
Fri Feb 20 2009
Nu, can't vee all just git along?
We were kibbitzing with our local usurer earlier today, just toasting a diamond sale over a brimming chalice of Catholic baby blood when—with a click of his tongue—he drew our attention to yesterday's edition of The Jewish Daily Forward. The story in question: a fracas among Park Slope Co-op members, a few of whom have moved to ban Israeli products from their shelves. Despite the wisdom and composure brought on by 2,000 years of scholarly thought, we could feel our horns glinting in the sun. Where's an angry Jewess to turn in times of strife? Why, the media of course!
The irony that the place is essentially a neo--urban kibbutz (members pledge to work shifts at the grocery, making the desert that is the Slope's affordable, responsible grocery options bloom...as it were) has not escaped us, being neighborhood residents ourselves. But the motion feels born from the very stiff and self-righteous soapbox awareness that many naysayers feel makes the Co-op unpalatable under normal circumstances.
The Forward quotes Rabbi Andy Bachman, whose synagogue plays host to Co-op meetings: "It will remain an irrelevant gesture to 5 million Israelis and 2 million Palestinians, but it will make someone in Park Slope feel really good about themselves. That's what this is about; it's about the political purity, which is part of Park Slope's unique self-absorption."
We're inclined to agree. And while we support the Co-op's open forum for this kind of divisive dialogue, we're also comforted by the seeming smallness of the gesture—the Forward reports about ten members (a minyan, in Heeb parlance) looking to discuss the boycott at a future meeting.
So until the next members' summit, we're putting our hooked noses back to the grindstone. Though clashing politics may simmer in the produce aisle at your local Co-op, for now anyway, your persimmons are safe.