Nov 30 2009
The “BUYcott Israel” counter-demonstration on Sunday outside the Mountain Equipment co-op in Vancouver drew a fair amount of attention, signatures of support and of course, many new co-op memberships for MEC. I’m happy to say I attended Sunday’s festivities, meant to counter the previous day’s shenanigans by what I’m told was a drenched and ignored group of Israel-bashers.
I’d intended to just sort of drop by as a sympathetic observer, but soon got politely shanghaied into holding a sign saying “Support MEC Ethical Sourcing Policy” and hobnobbing front and center with pedestrians (Indeed, the record of the event produced by Aha Media, with so many shots of yours truly, might leave many to assume I was the organizer!). I stayed for a while, enjoying the chance to talk with others about the issues and the motivations behind the boycott campaign, which seem to be less about human rights and more about a very cynical and one-sided view of Middle East politics.
One interesting note from Canada-Israel Committee rep Dan Schloss about the unintended irony of Saturday’s boycotters, who advocate buying Palestinian products at the same time that they condemn the purchase of Israel-made products (even if they meet stringent ethical purchasing standards): “The boycotters assume that because we’re pro-Israel that we’re ‘anti-Palestinian,’ ironically and tragically showing the real bigoted and hateful motivations behind the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Actually, by asking their supporters to buy Palestinian products, they essentially have the exact same policy Netanyahu does with regards to supporting the Palestinian economy.”