My cousin Barbara Simon Mazor is short (like me), opinionated (also like me) and definitely a rabble rouser (even more like me, therefore making this a trifecta.) Since I didn’t have a little sister of my own, watching Barbara follow in some of my footsteps has always made me smile. But it’s what she's done recently that makes me…no... ALL of us in this family, so proud of her that our buttons are ready to bust!
Barbara and her family live in Brooklyn and are members of the Park Slope Food Coop. Now, that might not seem like a big deal, but lately, her membership has been the cause of national attention. Following in the fine Simon tradition of rabble-rousing, Barbara has taken on the national BDS movement that has raised its ugly head at the Park Slope Food Coop. Next week, on March 27th, the Coop's general meeting will vote on whether or not to hold a referendum on joining the boycott of Israel.
If you don’t know what BDS is, let me explain: Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions is a movement pushing for sanctions against Israel for its treatment of Palestinians. However, Barbara defines it's actual nature quite succinctly when she says,
“BDS is not about bringing peace to the region. Its goal is to delegitimize
Israel and ultimately to bring about the end of Israel as a Jewish country.
BDS is Bigotry. Dishonesty. Anti-Semitism.”
The BDS movement's demonization of Israel does not recognize the reality of how the territories came to exist, the role of the Arab nations in the conditions within the territories, and the constant barrage of missiles and violence against the civilian population of Israel. Instead, they call Israel an apartheid nation even though Israeli Arabs are 100% Israeli citizens and Arabic is an official language of the State of Israel. Israeli Arabs hold elected office, serve in the IDF, and partake fully of everything Israel offers all its citizens. To be sure, Israel is not perfect, there are issues even amongst its Jewish citizenry, but Israelis are Israelis are Israelis regardless of race, color, or creed. Name one Arab state with those credentials. You cannot. No Arab state exists with that kind of equality.
The territories, however, are not Israel. They should be their own country by now, but they lack leadership, an economy, and a working infrastructure. Lobbing dozens of missiles at elementary schools does not produce a functional state. Anywhere else, that behavior would arouse world anger, abhorrence, and condemnation, but when the Palestinians do it, it's seems to be okay. Israel is told that the missiles are their fault...kinda like blaming the victim of a rape. But hey! It’s just Jewish kids hunkering down in bunkers. They should be used to that. Their great-grandparents lived in ghettos. Their grandparents were kept in concentration camps. A bunker should be no great shakes. Right?
|Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran|
BDS has done nothing to actually help the Palestinian people. They have their spent capital on finger pointing and blame. What they have done is to provide yet another platform for hate rhetoric aimed at a country that is already struggling with finding a resolution, where most of the population wants a two state solution...as long as the other state recognizes it fundamental right to exist. Israel wants a peace partner that does not call for its destruction as part of the national covenant. BDS holds rallies on college campuses around the country, spreading a web of half-truths and outright lies. They condemn Israel for protecting her own children, yet they remain silent on other regimes killing their own people within their own borders. Where is their outrage for Syria or Sudan?
But this really isn't about that. Ultimately, this is about the Coop itself and the desire by some to alter its intended function. Early on, Barbara started a blog, STOP BDS AT THE PARK SLOPE FOOD COOP where she laid out a rather matter-of-fact scenario about how dominoes fall when you politicize an organization like the Coop. She asked, in essence, what if
“…1000 coop members resign, requesting the return of their $100 member
investment. The coop has to come up with $100,000. Weekly sales drop by
$50,000, which is about $10,000 in mark-up. 5 coop staffers are laid off.”
The reality is that even in an organization as large as the Park Slope Food Coop, which numbers about 16,000, a thousand members resigning would have a huge financial impact.
|Samantha Bee and Barbara Mazor|
But all joking aside; the existence of the State of Israel is no joke. That they are threatened daily by the neighboring states is no joke. BDS brings nothing to the table; they do nothing but drive a wedge deeper between both sides. Instead of helping the Palestinians to reach a place where they can live and work and love their children in peace, they have further entrenched everyone in a war of words that benefits no one.
Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Planning on attending the meeting?
Do everyone a favor and let Barbara know.
Just post a comment on her blog.