Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: Olympia Food Co-op

Aug.
26th

ISRAEL: Co-op right to apply pressure through boycott

The Olympia Food Co-op is to be complimented for its leadership role in boycotting Israeli products.

With the continued expansion of the illegal Israeli settlements and the separation wall cutting off the Palestinians from their land, it is already nearly impossible for the formation of a viable Palestinian state. Israeli violence against civilians has increased in recent years. International pressure has proven insufficient to change Israeli policies.

A boycott of Israeli products might help to make the Israeli government get serious about entering into a fair solution with the Palestinians. A similar boycott helped to end the apartheid rule

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Aug.
13th

ISRAEL: Co-op board wrong to boycott Israeli products

I support my Jewish friends in their view of the Olympia Food Co-op boycott. If the board does not change its position, I will resign my membership.

Will the loss of my single membership be a big deal to the board or the co-op? I suspect not. However, that really isn’t the point.

In addition, if the board does not change its stance in regards to the Israeli boycott, I would ask that it clearly advertise itself as a political entity, because that is what it will have primarily become.

My further and alternative suggestion is as

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Aug.
13th

ISRAEL: Perhaps it’s time to boycott the co-op

Speaking as a 20-year family member of the Olympia Food Co-Op, I question how nine board members can speak for 15,000 members in their recent boycott of Israeli products. It seems unfair.

There are people like myself who believe nobody, including the co-op, can break the sacred bond of the Judeo-Christian connection with the American people. It’s one thing to say a country is behaving badly, but it’s another thing to condemn its people. Perhaps it’s time for like-minded and reasonable people to boycott the co-op.

Aug.
4th

ISRAEL: No side has a moral right to violence

Both letters on Israel and Palestine oversimplify their arguments (TNT, 8-4).

One writer, who holds Israel to “higher standards,” violates a fundamental principle of human society: reciprocity. When Hamas or Hezbollah chooses to rocket Israeli civilians, reciprocity justifies violence against their citizens. When Israel applies violence to Palestinian citizens, it has justified violence against its own.

No side has a moral right to violence without entailing an equal right to respond with violence. “Live by the sword, die by the sword.”

Each side writes compelling narratives to justify their violence. Before 1967, Jordan and Egypt occupied the West Bank and

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Aug.
2nd

ISRAEL: Where’s outrage over terrorists’ atrocities?

Several letter writers have supported the Olympia Food Co-op’s boycott of Israeli products related to Israel’s supposedly inhumane blockade of Gaza. I believe these writers lack understanding of history and context.

Hamas, the terrorist group which controls Gaza, has as its avowed goal, not the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, but the total destruction of Israel.

When Israel’s forces and settlers left Gaza a few years ago, Hamas responded by launching hundreds of rockets at civilian targets in Israel. All countries have the right of self defense. Imagine our government’s response if terrorists

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July
28th

ISRAEL: Criticism isn’t based on hatred

Re “Olympia Food Co-op joins long, tragic history of hatred toward Israel” (Viewpoint, 7-27):

Edward Alexander does a great disservice to readers by suggesting that criticism of Israel equates with anti-Semitism or Israel-hatred. Even worse, he misleadingly asserts that those who boycott Israeli-made goods, like the Olympia Food Co-op board of directors, seek Israel’s destruction.

In fact, most progressives in the United States – Jews and non-Jews alike – who urge boycotts, sanctions and divestment against Israel are trying to compel it to withdraw from occupied territory and respect international law. Were Israel to do so, it would bring justice

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July
26th

ISRAEL: Boycott aimed at equal rights, freedom

Re: “Co-op boycott ignores rights reality” (letter 7-23).

Israel indeed upholds many human rights for Jewish Israelis, but many Israeli laws violate the rights of non-Jewish Israelis. And Israeli policies and practices in the territories that Israel’s kept under military occupation since 1967 – the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza (Gaza’s still occupied because Israel controls its borders) – horribly violate Palestinian human rights.

Boycotting Israel isn’t “anti-Israel” or “pro-Palestinian.” It’s anti-apartheid, anti-occupation, anti-colonialism
(a 2009 report by the South Africa-based Human Sciences Research Council found elements of Israel’s military occupation constitute colonialism and apartheid). It’s pro-human rights,

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July
26th

ISRAEL: No excuse for human rights abuses

Re: “Co-op boycott ignores rights reality” (letter, 7-23.

Surely the writer did not mean to suggest that because Libya and Saudi Arabia commit human rights abuses that it is OK for Israel to do so. Should not Israel, “our friend and ally” to whom we give $3 billion a year, have higher standards?

The Olympia Food Co-op, in its boycott of products from Israel, is not likely to have much influence in “destroying the legitimacy of Israel,” as Warnick asserts. The Israeli government may be doing a better job of that. The Palestinian child who has seen his home demolished

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