The Olympia, Washington Food Co-op has the dubious distinction of being the first within the grocery co-op movement in America to boycott Israeli-made products. This is unsurprising, because Olympia is a beehive of anti-Israel, anti-Zionist activities, from the classrooms of Evergreen State College to its churches and town hall.
With no public notice to its members, let alone a healthy debate about the merits of such a motion, on July 15 the Olympia Food Co-op damned Israel, in effect placing the entire onus of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Israel. Nothing short of the “right of return” of all Arab refugees from the 1948 War — a war initiated by five Arab armies and the Arab leadership of Palestine at that time—will suffice to end the boycott. Of course, this is code for the “disbanding” of the Jewish State of Israel.
Never mind that Israel is being singled out as the one country whose wickedness and depravity is so great that its very existence is deemed a topic demanding of discussion. Not so with North Korea, Sudan, Libya, China, Russia, Syria or scores of other countries whose human rights abuses are apparently so commonplace as to be unworthy of mention.
Never mind that Israel has shown itself willing to make painful sacrifices for peace, from its withdrawal from all of Sinai, its evacuation of all Jews from Gaza and other settlements in the disputed territories of the West Bank, to Ehud Barak’s and later Ehud Olmert’s offers to relinquish upwards of 96 percent of the West Bank in return for peace with its neighbors.
Never mind that an economic boycott sends exactly the wrong message to both Israelis and Palestinians striving to reach an accord, because it penalizes Israeli Christian and Muslim Arabs (who comprise 20 percent of Israel’s population), emboldens Palestinian extremists to adhere to maximalist demands, and makes it less likely that Israelis will trust that the international community that supports one-sided boycotts is acting in good faith.
If the boycotters and their supporters were to really act in good faith, or at least to be consistent, they wouldn’t stop at boycotting grocery products. They’d boycott Israeli products across the board. This would include most computers, since Israel helped to develop the Intel Pentium chip, Windows MP, XP and Vista as well as Microsoft Office. They’d have to boycott Google and cell phones developed in Israel by Motorola, as well as voice mail and camera phones. Thousands of products that were developed through technological innovations in Israel, in agriculture, aerospace, energy, pharmaceuticals, and bio-medicine would also be off limits.
But naturally, the self-righteous boycotters and their legions of supporters aren’t interested in such banalities. Because their intentions are much grander and insidious. The boycott is part of a broader movement to ostracize Israel from the family of nations, to demonize the Jewish State, and ultimately set the stage for either its destruction or its dissolution.