This would be funny were it not for the fact that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is such a sad sack of haters.

Activists from Ithaca Jewish Voice for Peace were behind the recent failed effort to get GreenStar Food Coop in Ithaca, NY (home of Cornell University) to boycott Israel. Those activists formed a group called Central NY Committee for Justice in Palestine, later reconfigured as Ithaca Food Justice for Palestine. But two JVP activists, Ariel Gold and Beth Harris — who (in)famously got themselves arrested at the AIPAC annual conference — were behind it all.

Details on that GreenStar boycott effort, including the hateful messages used as part of the campaign (See Featured Image for one example), are in my post, Huge BDS loss – GreenStar Food Coop rejects Israel boycott.

Attempts were made to take the GreenStar boycott movement national, involving such “stars” as Angela Davis and Medea Benjamin, but that didn’t help them much:

Greenstar Boycott Angela Davis Medea Benjamin

One aspect of the failed boycott effort involved China.


What could China have to do with the BDS movement?

Well, GreenStar actually has had a China boycott in place for a decade because of China’s treatment of Tibet. Ithaca has an influential Tibetan community. The Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca is the North American Seat of the Dalai Lama.

Efforts to remove the China boycott at GreenStar failed in the past.

When the Israel boycott petition for a referendum was submitted to the GreenStar council, the anti-boycott, pro-peace Ithaca Coalition for Unity and Cooperation in the Middle East submitted legal arguments that the boycott would violate the NY Human Rights Law because it was based on national origin. (See prior post for legal arguments.)

Those legal arguments carried the day at GreenStar, as expressed in separate opinions from GreenStar’s own legal council that the Israel boycott exposed GreenStar to substantial legal risk.

But the GreenStar council didn’t stop there. Based on the legal opinions with regard to Israel, the GreenStar council included in its resolution rejecting the Israel boycott a notice that it would have to reconsider the China boycott:

Council’s exploration of the boycott issue, and our discovery of the provision in New York State law mentioned above, have led to another piece of legal advice – namely, that there’s a similar problem with GreenStar’s so- called “China boycott” (originally instituted by Council, and affirmed by member referendum in 2008). In the very near future, Council will be considering the Co-op’s options for addressing that situation.

Looks like the China boycott at GreenStar will fall by the wayside, collateral damage from the attempt to harm Israel.


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