Friday, September 9, 2011

Uncovered: Israel’s role in planned US lawsuit to fight BDS

Ali Abunimah, co-founder of, writes that Olympia Food Co-op, the first grocery store in the United States to ban Israeli made products, as well as Evergreen College, are now being threatened with legal action to put a stop to their BDS campaigns.

A short film, entitled "Challenging Power," chronicles the successful boycott campaign in Olympia, which US Campaign member groups Rachel Corrie Foundation, Olympia-Rafah Sister Cities Project, Last Word Books and Olympia Friends Meeting all took part in.  The film's trailer can be viewed here.
A group of pro-Israel activists, backed by StandWithUs, a national US pro-Israel US organization, is planning to take legal action to force the Olympia Food Co-op to rescind its historic decision to boycott Israeli products.
The Electronic Intifada has obtained a copy of a 31 May 2011 letter sent to the Board of Directors of the Olympia Food Co-op in Olympia, Washington, threatening “expensive” legal action if the pro-Israel activists’ “demands” to end the boycott of Israeli products are not met.

Other documents, supported by interviews, confirm that the Israeli government has taken part in discussions about, and been given advance knowledge of, the planned lawsuit and another planned action against Evergreen State College in Olympia in response to Palestine solidarity activism by students.

Evergreen State is noted for being the school attended by Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli occupation soldier operating a bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in March 2003.

These developments indicate new, even more aggressive tactics by pro-Israel organizations to suppress, deter and malign any form of Palestine-related dissent, protest or solidarity action.

Continue reading article here