Democracy at the Co-op

By From page A6 | November 14, 2012

To borrow Joe Biden’s word, Jim Leonard’s claims (“Still Angry About the Co-op Decision,” Nov. 9) against the Davis Food Co-op and Israel are just “malarkey.”

As a Co-op member, I am angered by Leonard’s allegation that our Co-op is “undemocratic.” Back in 2010, when a group affiliated with an international boycott against Israel proposed a local boycott of Israeli products, every democratic procedure was followed.

Both sides tabled in front of the Co-op for months to democratically espouse their positions. Numerous lengthy Co-op board meetings were held in which both sides had numerous democratic opportunities to speak — and did. Then, the Co-op board, acting completely within its democratically given authority and in full view of its membership, determined that the proposal should not go forward for numerous reasons (most having to do with proper business practice).

Not only are Leonard’s claims against our Co-op nonsense, so are those he makes against Israel.

“Israel lets just enough food into Gaza for that population to be perpetually weak and hungry.”

Maybe Leonard should listen to what the deputy director of the Red Cross in Gaza, Mathilde Redmatn, said last April: “There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Israel chose to control and punish Gaza because Gazans chose to elect Hamas as the governing party.”

Israel withdrew from every millimeter of Gaza seven years ago. Maybe Leonard should listen to what the senior spokesman for Hamas, Mahmoud Zahar, said two months ago to the Palestinian news agency Maan: “Gaza is free of occupation” (maannews.net/eng/viewdetails.aspx?ID=520228).

Hamas statistics show that 1,200 Gazans (438,000 per year) go through the Rafah Crossing into and out of Egypt each day along with thousands of tons of food and supplies. Another 6,000 tons per day enter Gaza via Israel’s Kerem Shalom Crossing — despite the fact that since Jan. 20, Hamas has fired 1,443 missiles and mortars at southern Israel in a blatant attempt to kill and terrorize Israeli men, women and children.

Lest we forget, Jim Leonard’s beloved and democratically elected Hamas government has sworn to eradicate Israel and is actively trying to do so.

George Rooks

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