Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

People's Food CoOp Elections

13. May 2009 • Patti Smith
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I grew up in a suburb north of Detroit in the 70s/80s. If you know the area, it perhaps goes without saying that I never heard of things called “quinoa” or “kale” or “stinging nettle”. It was all about Shake’n‘Bake, Hamburger Helper and iceberg lettuce with Garden Goddess dressing in the Smith household.

When I moved to Ann Arbor (a lifelong goal…at least since the age of 9, when I first visited the UM Hospital and saw someone with blue hair and knew I had to live here), one of the first things that I did was join the People’s Food Co-Op. Thanks to the friendly folks there, I have tried quinoa and kale and stinging nettle (and a host of other things, some that I loved and some not). For these and many other reasons, I take the co-op elections really seriously. The Board of Directors election is coming up soon. Ballots are due by 4pm on Saturday, May 30 or you can bring them with you to the annual meeting on May 31 from 3:00-5:00 at the Leslie Science Center.

Four candidates are seeking to join the other cool folks on the Board. Please find their candidate statements in the newsletter

If you are a member, please remember to vote!! Thanks to the candidates for running—and good luck!!

  1. Among the four candidates are a member of the Huron Valley Greens and also Henry Herskovits.

    Pete Schermerhorn of the Huron Valley Greens, who was a former City Council candidate, currently sits on the board.

    The race could be highly contentious since it was the Huron Valley Greens that had endorsed the boycott of Israeli-imported goods at the People’s Food Co-op.

    Could this be an attempt of pro-boycott forces to gain control of the PFC board of directors?

    We will have to wait and see………..

       —Mark Koroi    May. 14 '09 - 05:10AM    #
  2. I’m looking forward to it, too…that’s why I put the post up (my first AU post :) W00T!!!!, as they say on the interwebz). I only know one of the candidates personally, Jeff McCabe of Fridays at SELMA. I really like him on a personal level! Again, good luck to all…let’s see what happened.

       —TeacherPatti    May. 14 '09 - 05:12PM    #
  3. Mr. Herskovitz is apparently not the only campaigner to boycott Israeli goods, at various food co-ops nationally:

    Campaigns to Boycott Israeli Goods at Food Co-ops Nationwide

       —The Colonel    May. 14 '09 - 07:11PM    #
  4. I thought McCabe’s name sounded familiar. He’s the one who some neighbors have accused of running an illegal restaurant in his home, right?

       —David Cahill    May. 14 '09 - 07:46PM    #
  5. Thanks for the kind words about the Co-op Patti (we love quinoa and kale too!) and thanks for encouraging members to vote. As in any democratic process, participation is key. On behalf of the Co-op, we appreciate you helping to get the word out to VOTE!

    For folks who don’t know, the Co-op is now on both facebook and Twitter. Those are good places too for members to get updates on a variety of Co-op related events.

       —Kevin Sharp    May. 14 '09 - 07:58PM    #
  6. I’ve heard a lot of people rave about Selma Cafe, and I appreciate Jeff’s efforts to support local food build community.

    Rebecca Kanner is also a great person. She’s worked at the Community Farm of Ann Arbor and for the Ecology Center, she’s been on the board of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, and is a long-time Co-Op member.

    Rebecca and Jeff had our votes because I believe they really stand for co-op values.

       —Chuck Warpehoski    May. 14 '09 - 08:18PM    #
  7. The Co-op values Chuck W refers to should include taking Israeli items off the shelves at the Co-op and keeping them off.

    PFC’s vision and values promote “a healthy world and closer connection to food sources by managing its economic power with community-focused, cooperative values” and valuing “mutually supportive relationships among members of our local and global communities.” Justice and peace are “community-focused, cooperative values”, as I’m sure Chuck knows, and Palestinians are part of “our local and global communities”.

    Palestinians are even part of the co-op movement, which, in Palestine, started in 1933. Today, there are about 400 cooperatives in Palestine with more than 50,000 members.

    A vote for me will place the sympathetic ear of a Board member who will listen to community driven boycott initiatives from conscientious Ann Arbor shoppers.

    I have traveled to Palestine three times, and have worked with the Michigan Peace Team, and the International Solidarity Movement. There, I witnessed first hand the continued ethnic cleansing of Palestine, begun in earnest 61 years ago.

    Hopefully, there will arise a forum via this election that will allow the heretofore silent voice of Palestine to be heard.

       —Henry Herskovitz    May. 14 '09 - 09:11PM    #
  8. This video is a startling example of what happens when a boycott campaign hits a grocery store:

    Large Boycott Israel march through grocery store

       —The Colonel    May. 14 '09 - 10:13PM    #
  9. Re Post #7”…I witnessed first hand the continued ethnic cleansing of Palestine…”

    Henry, are you able you share with us on the specific acts that you observed that you deem “ethnic cleansing”?

       —Mark Koroi    May. 14 '09 - 11:49PM    #
  10. Just saw this:

    “Ann Arbor will be among the first cities in the U.S. to take a stand against Israeli occupation and racism.

    “Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission has been approached also.

    “And there is talk of boycott of Israel at Michigan Student Assembly since last year.

    “All are welcome to join in and put a stop to the ugly institutionalized racism promoted by Israel in the Middle East.

    “After all the bombs and invasions and killings, and environmental devastation brought to the Middle East by the U.S., this will be a beautiful humanitarian gesture to all the people of the Middle East to see that Americans are humans after all.”

       —The Colonel    May. 14 '09 - 11:53PM    #
  11. Yes, Jeff M. and Lisa G. host Fridays at SELMA and yes, there are accusations that it is a cafe. They are working with city officials to make things square with regulations and such. I will say that eating there is one of the few things that will get my butt out of bed at 6am* on a Friday :) :) *as opposed to 6:45…hey 45 minutes of sleep is 45 minutes, people!!!

       —TeacherPatti    May. 15 '09 - 12:07AM    #
  12. the flood gates have been opened…
    So much for this thread…

       —scooter62    May. 15 '09 - 01:33AM    #
  13. Mark, Colonel, and scooter62: Please remember that this is a thread about the food CoOp elections, not the Israeli – Palestinian conflict

       —Matt Hampel for ArborUpdate    May. 15 '09 - 02:15AM    #
  14. Matt, the Israeli conquest of Palestine is very much germane to this thread, because at least one member of the candidate list has made it the core plank of his platform. Please allow the thread to continue.

    Mark, one example of the ethnic cleansing I observed is contained in the photograph located at Young Jewish soldiers boarded a bus I was on and threw the woman with her three children off, because her “papers” weren’t correct.

    I’m happy to show more photos supporting my claim, and would be happy to deliver my half-hour presentation of my last trip to Palestine, anywhere, anytime.

       —Henry Herskovitz    May. 15 '09 - 03:54AM    #
  15. Discussion of the candidates and their issues is the aim of this thread, but this is not a place for discussion of the Israeli-Palestinain conflict as a whole. We already have had several hundred posts of back-and-forth among the same commenters about the nature of the conflict.

       —Matt Hampel for ArborUpdate    May. 15 '09 - 07:01AM    #
  16. Here’s my personal question —

    What can you tell us about the Israeli brands that the Co-op stocks? Who owns them, and what social practices do they support?

    Do you think the Co-op should add some official process for vetting new products and suppliers? (do they have one?)

    Like the ILO has a set of international labor standards — maybe something similar?

       —Matt Hampel    May. 15 '09 - 07:08AM    #
  17. It’s worth a mention that PFC members have already voted overwhelmingly against boycotting Israeli goods, in a referendum submitted by Henry and his allies.

    This seems like an attempt to accomplish a “stealth” takeover of the co-op board by those who refuse to accept the results of that straightforward, democratic vote.

    As a way-back PFC board member, I know it’s essential to the co-op’s success that it be guided by a board committed to running a strong, locally-oriented cooperative business, not scoring political points. My votes go to Rebecca and Jeff.

       —Joel Goldberg    May. 15 '09 - 06:25PM    #
  18. Joel: I personally took no position on the prior boycott of Israeli goods at PFC, but how do you address the counter-argument that less than 15% of the eligible members voted on the boycott and many of those who did vote against it were influenced by a highly-organized counter-effort.

    Henry: You have made reference to a possible boycott of Israeli goods at Brooklyn’s 15,000-member Park Slope Co-op. That story made international news several months ago, however the only action I saw taken was a member raising the issue during the public commentary period of a board meeting. The issue had, to my knowledge, never been placed on the board’s agenda let alone set for any vote. Do you have any new information on the status of that effort?

       —Mark Koroi    May. 15 '09 - 06:42PM    #
  19. Mr. Herskovitz can hardly be accused of “stealth”.
    He is proclaiming from the rooftops, in the Co-op’s own journal, that he wants the Co-op to boycott Israel.

    He even explains why he wants the Co-op to boycott Israel (grave human rights abuses against Palestinians, including Israel’s shooting of Mr. Herskovitz’s friend.) All in the Co-op’s own journal, and in his campaign materials.

    How is that “stealth”?

       —The Colonel    May. 15 '09 - 07:04PM    #
  20. Re: message 17 – Henry may have supported the boycott proposal, but he had nothing to do with its inception, presentation before the board on numerous occasions for over a year, or the actual gathering of signatures to put it on the ballot.

    Mark – while I was a member of Huron Valley Greens, I have not been involved there for more than 2 years. I prefer more constructive approaches to social engagement than boycotts, but I support the right of the membership to propose such, and would play my part in enacting it were it to gain support.

    Greens strongly believe in democratic process – perhaps even to a fault. I see no attempt to ‘take over’ anything. Were the Board to do something that the membership, which it represents, overwhelmingly opposes – well, there’s a democratic process for removal of Board members as well. PFC is secure, is the bottom line.

       —Pete S.    May. 15 '09 - 07:30PM    #
  21. Re: Henry Herskovit’s post (#14). What the hell qualifies these days as “ethnic cleansing”?! The picture cited by Herskovits as an example shows a women—covered by the way, how progressive—holding a child and talking to some man. That’s it. Herskovits alleges she was removed from a bus…is that ethnic cleansing? Hell no, that’s called law enforcement. How absurd! Why is this even a damn issue?

       —Zach G    May. 15 '09 - 07:55PM    #
  22. And by the way—for anyone who is serious about the ideals of a cooperative: responsible ecology, local business growth, community, etc…the principles of any co-op, be sure to NOT vote for Herskovits OR LOUKES, their the same animal. Whatever the time or place is to talk about the Israel-Palestine conflict, it sure as hell is not at the grocery store.

       —Zach G    May. 15 '09 - 08:02PM    #
  23. I assume, now that Mr. Goldsmith has introduced two swear words into this discussion, that will be used as a reason to close down the discussion.

       —The Colonel    May. 15 '09 - 08:03PM    #
  24. Rebecca Kanner and Jeff McCabe are the only candidates who actually have the interests and knowledge of a food co-op and advancing those needs and policies as their agenda.

    Henry Herskovitz and Chuck Loucks— he’s the stealth candidate, by the way, who doesn’t mention his monomaniacal Huron Valley Green anti-Israel, pro-boycott position, but his “fashion statement” in his candidate photo is a subtle (?) hint of where he stands—are single-issue candidates who only want to get on the board to advance their obsession, that one and only political topic, and will be of no benefit whatever to the PFC.

    Not only was the boycott overwhelmingly defeated just two years ago—something Herskovitz and Loucks and others among the BIGots just won’t accept as they try again and again to raise what should be a dead issue as far as the Co-op is concerned—but the latter was defeated in the previous PFC board election; he’s just reprising his stealth candidacy from the last cycle. Those two will only be disruptive forces if they get on the board.

    Vote Rebbecca and Jeff to keep the PFC going on the right track, the direction desired by its members and that which really represents the broad interests and concerns of a food cooperative and its members.

       —Mike    May. 15 '09 - 08:32PM    #
  25. This comment was not written by the board candidate of the same name. -Arbor Update, 17 May

    herskovitz is indeed not a stealth candidate, having been quite open about his 1 issue ( re the coop and his life)…he’s more accurately the “rope-a dope” or “bad cop” candidate, who aims to “air his views while losing” but hopefully let the real stealther,louckes, squeak in . chuckie boy’s written platform is all innocuous feel-good blather with no mention of israel-palestine although that’s the real agenda for him as for our henry…louckes’campaign photo in the kaffiya is the sartorial shorthand ( like aimee smiths burqa) for this …all the herskies have been wearing them lately ( guess the tie-dies from the woodstock days wore out).

       —jmcabe    May. 15 '09 - 09:20PM    #
  26. Just for the record, this Mr. Goldsmith hasn’t posted on this string

    Thanks. Lol.

       —Alan Goldsmith    May. 15 '09 - 09:21PM    #
  27. This comment was not written by the board candidate of the same name. -Arbor Update, 17 May

    also for the record, re my above i am not the jeff mcabe running for the coop board ( or jeff at all)..i should have been more creative with a screen name…my apologies to the candidate for any confusion.

       —jmcabe    May. 15 '09 - 09:30PM    #
  28. And while everyone is on the subject, feel free to check out the Henry Herskovits fan site: . There may be some swag left-email if interested. Also, my apologies Alan, we happen to share the same last name, I believe “the Colonel” is aware of my identity despite my use of an abbreviation. Now if only [s]he would enlighten us with his/her name? Blaine, not-so-friendly neighborhood lunatic, is that you?

       —Zach G    May. 15 '09 - 09:38PM    #
  29. “Chuck Loucks— he’s the stealth candidate, by the way, who doesn’t mention his monomaniacal Huron Valley Green anti-Israel, pro-boycott position”

    Eh, there’s no need to appeal to conspiracy here, and his postings here (I’m assuming this is the same ChuckL) show a wider interest than just Palestine. (Though they also show a preference for dogma and paranoia over any more careful weighing of details.)

    Love the candidate statement: “Use of Instant Runoff Voting (IRV—see in co-op decision making as well as support for the use of IRV in local political elections is another example of how the co-op and its members can affect positive change in society.” I mean, I know we all have our little obsessions, but I’d like to think most of us have a better sense of perspective.

    Rebecca Kanner I know from the WBWC, and she seems like someone who contributes. McCabe I don’t know but Selma Cafe thing, for example, suggests he’s got plenty of energy and interest. Anyway, that’s how I voted.

    But you don’t have to win any elections to contribute to the community.

       —Bruce Fields    May. 15 '09 - 09:39PM    #
  30. Bruce,

    I think the only Chuck who has posted on this thread is Chuck W who said some very reasonable things. You may not think it’s a conspiracy, but it’s certainly a conniving set-up when the candidate doesn’t reveal what his big, driving issue is in the hope that his “co-conspirator” will deflect all the attention from him on that score.

    The “Jmacabe” who is obviously not the candidate Jeff McCabe—and chose a very unfortunate screen alias—is absolutely right, however, when he brings attention to Loucks’s and Herskovitz’s good cop/bad cop routine to try to hide one’s agenda while highlighting it in the other one. Don’t like the term conspiracy? Call it a plot, a scheme, a devious plan/stratagem/strategy, whatever-you-want, but Mr. Loucks, as a leading member of the local HV Greens, certainly strongly shares (obsesses?) in their ostensibly only remaining issue: boycotting Israel and taking every effort to denounce Israel to the exclusion of what was once a positive program to advance the environment but is far removed from that now.

    Vote for Rebecca Kanner and Jeff McCabe for the good of the PFC and the community and for up-front, unambiguous programs, no hidden agendas, and advancing the true concerns and interests of the Food Co-op’s members.

       —Mike    May. 15 '09 - 10:20PM    #
  31. “think the only Chuck who has posted on this thread is Chuck W”

    Right, by “here” I mean “on Arbor Update”, not “on this thread”. e.g. see this thread.

    I don’t think he should be on the board, for the reasons I gave and because I think he probably wouldn’t have run absent his interest in the stupid boycott. That’s enough for me.

       —Bruce Fields    May. 15 '09 - 10:29PM    #
  32. Mark, #18: I don’t have exact numbers, but typical PFC voting percentages are always very low, not least of all because each membership represents a capital share purchase in the co-op that remains unless the share is redeemed. Many members no longer live in A2, but are still counted as members, wherever they are.

    (Some co-op supporters who leave town may even intentionally choose to remain members instead of cashing in their shares, so that the money from those shares stays part of the co-op’s capital base, instead of being withdrawn from it.)

    It’s correct that an organized effort opposed the boycott referendum, just as another organized effort worked on its behalf. One side won by a sizable margin, the other lost. That’s how democracy is supposed to work.

    Colonel, #19: No sense quibbling over the word “stealth”; if you want to substitute “roundabout means” or other similar wording, the same argument still holds.

       —Joel Goldberg    May. 15 '09 - 10:35PM    #
  33. My question above was intended to suss out if H.H.
    is interested solely in the boycott, or if he’ll have the experience and interest to administer the co-op, not just push one social movement.

    Well, no clear answer yet.

       —Matt Hampel    May. 15 '09 - 11:17PM    #
  34. Woody Call has an IP address, and he did threaten to murder Mr. Herskovitz. Woody’s exact words:

    “may i suggest as a venue the bottom of lake michigan at midnite? (id imagine there are many who’d pay to see that and even provide logistical support).”

    Is Israel really so important that its critics must be threatened with violent death?

    This adds to the reasons that Mr. Herskovitz’s call for a boycott of Israel must be taken seriously. Those who threaten him with death certainly take it seriously.

       —The Colonel    May. 16 '09 - 12:45AM    #
  35. Apologies to Matt for not responding sooner (#16 and 34). I plead guilty to being over 50 and cannot easily multi-task. I used to be called a green-screener, and that should date anyone reading this if they grock the meaning…

    The reason why I’ve concentrated my campaign on just one topic follows:

    I was one of the founding members of Ann Arbor ad hoc Committee for Peace, later to become Michigan Peaceworks. There were left Zionists in leadership positions of that organization, though I didn’t know it at the time.

    I kept trying to raise the issue of Palestine at meetings and was astonished that it never received the attention it deserved. Reason #3 for the WTC bombings was US support for Israel. It took me a long time to understand that the left Zionists in the “peace” movement were playing for the other team.

    Like Woody Hayes, I don’t consider myself the sharpest knife in the drawer, but when I finally learn something, I’m not likely to forget it.

    So please know, Matt, that my running for PFC board on one platform plank is merely to insure that the boycott of Israelis goods will be considered front and center, not an “add-on” after my election to the Board. I don’t want to have to re-sell the position that Israel has singled itself out by its actions to warrant boycotts, divestment and sanctions.

    My qualifications are listed on my candidate statement. An area of interest that I would bring to the board – and I have vetted this through other Co-op members – is the introduction of cooking classes that could help meat eaters like myself become vegetarians. These classes could be held at Whole Foods on AA-Saline Rd for instance, and would help people like myself achieve these goals.

    But first things first, and today that is the successful implementation of broad boycotts against Israel, as requested by Palestinian civil society’s 170 organizations calling for same.

       —Henry Herskovitz    May. 16 '09 - 01:39AM    #
  36. HH running for co-op board, and (aside from his major and anti-Semitic goal that is irrelevant to the co-op) advocates for cooking classes at Whole Foods? Brilliant! Move business from the co-op to Whole Foods! Case closed. Vote for Rebecca and Jeff.

       —M    May. 16 '09 - 02:13AM    #
  37. Zach, and others, again — this thread is about the local PFC elections. We will continue to remove offtopic, flaming posts.

       —Matt Hampel for ArborUpdate    May. 16 '09 - 02:46AM    #
  38. Henry, I appreciate your up-front statement of your principles, and thanks for following up on my probing. I certainly don’t expect that you’re here refreshing the page 24-7 waiting to reply :-) Hopefully I can write a more nuanced reply later on.

       —Matt Hampel    May. 16 '09 - 02:54AM    #
  39. All,

    My candidate statement and photo do capture all of my concerns in subtle and overt ways. I did and do support the BIG campaign as being consistent with Green Party, HVGreens and Co-op values. IRV is something I do believe in and hope to help implement at the Co-op and hopefully, the city elections as well. One thing that is not on my campaign statement (due to the idea being formed after the statement was submitted) is to find ways to fund the purchase and/or construction of a building where the Co-op could be located instead of paying ~$23/sq-ft/year in rent to some landlord as is done currently. In my mind this should be a top priority for the Co-op. Also, my wife complains about the quality of vegetables being sold at high cost; many supermarkets in the area reduce the price of aging vegetables in order to clear them sooner from the shelves, apparently, not at the Co-op and I want to look into this as a member of the board. As far as concern for the current elections, my concern would be that, for the second time in a row, candidates appear to have been recruited by members of the current board and given special treatment as far as meeting the filling requirement after the official, publicly announced filling date ended. I did not see a list of the candidates who had applied for a board candidacy announced in early March when the extended deadline had ended. Only myself and Henry had applied by the original cut-off date at the end of February.
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    May. 16 '09 - 06:10AM    #
  40. Are you the “Chuck L.” as alleged?

       —Mark Koroi    May. 16 '09 - 06:20AM    #
  41. If what Pete Schermerhorn told me is correct, Rebecca Kanner is not even certain if she will serve. If there is any stealth activity going on here, it is the board for the second year in a row extending the deadline so that the organized Zionist community could recruit candidates to knock off anti-Zionist candidates who met the published deadlines.

    Rebecca Kanner no doubt has a lot of fine qualities and is willing to sacrifice to bring attention to genocide perpetrated in this hemisphere by our tax dollars, but unfortunately, when it comes to the genocide against the Palestinians, she advocates veto power of the Jewish community over that movement. That position, in my view, is not only illogical, but is racist and immoral. It is merely a particular form of white supremacy.

    The Green movement has always been about more than just the environment – and that is because the ills causing the devastation of our planet cannot be addressed without addressing the ills of social injustice within our human family. Buying a hybrid to reduce carbon emissions, but then supporting the ideological project that gave rise to the invasions of Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine is a net loss for the planet. So, for those who hope to save the planet without bothering to recognize the humanity of Palestinian Arabs (or Sudanese or Iraqis or Somalis or Native Americans or…), you will not be part of the desperately needed solutions.

    Pete Schermerhorn wants to work “constructively.” He doesn’t want to stand up against the racist power structure that gets people arrested and fired and segregates the peace movement. He wants to go along to get along. Don’t let him discourage you. When the wind changes – as it surely will on Zionism (and is moving rather fast) – he will come around. Just like no one now admits that they were in favor of apartheid South Africa before it fell, soon no one will admit that they once supported the equally racist white supremacist colonial movement called Zionism. “Liberal” peace and justice groups will claim to stand against injustice, but look the other way when powerful interests require it. Ever heard the Phil Ochs song “Love me, I’m a liberal?” This board election is a chance to help see which way the Co-op goes. When the Co-op claims to support fair trade and justice for farmers, do we really mean it? If so, how could we purchase food grown on stolen land and under a racist government? Or is it just about being trendy and looking like we care about oppressed and exploited people/s?

    Chuck Loucks is a long time Green who has been involved in many issues in addition to Palestine. I have had the pleasure of working with him for several years and have seen him to be concerned about fairness, justice, transparency, local control and environmental sustainability. Advocating for Instant Runoff Voting and Palestinian human rights are entirely consistent with those values and to his credit.

    For people who do not know the facts about the “Israel/Palestine” conflict, I recommend the movie “People and the Land” as the most efficient way to get the picture. The link to the online video is here: Palestinian, Iraqi, and Lebanese Arabs make up a sizable portion of our local community. It continues to baffle me that otherwise rather well meaning people would remain silent in the face of these atrocities that our tax money support which directly harm our neighbors right here in Ann Arbor. ICPJ under Chuck Warpehoski’s watch silenced this issue – that organization is now hypocritical on every word in its title – interfaith, peace and justice. The only muslim(s?) in ICPJ now is(are?) hand picked by the Zionists. So, it is to be expected that Warpehoski advocates silencing this issue at the People’s Food Co-op as well, thus trumpeting the recruited Zionist approved candidates.

    The Zionist movement is powerful in the US at this moment in history. It is also very prone to projection – such as on this thread claiming that up front candidates who signed up by the deadline at their own initiative are the “stealth” candidates while the one(or more?) who was recruited after the extended deadline only once it was learned that two pro-boycott candidates were running is to be seen as the “genuine” candidate. But sincere community members must look beneath the lies, the projection and the name calling to see what justice requires. Yes, Palestinians are full human beings who do not deserve to face genocide or silence. That is not the only pressing issue of our time, but as long as fraudulent peace activists demand silence on that issue, people of conscience must and will raise it.

    Aimee Smith
    Co-chair Huron Valley Greens

       —Aimee Smith    May. 16 '09 - 07:26PM    #
  42. Wow, after reading that last comment (and after every comment, as this thread continues), I would suggest that saving this page before refreshing will assure that one will be able to read the last comment again at a later time, were it to suddenly disappear.

       —Michael Schils    May. 16 '09 - 08:51PM    #
  43. Re Post No.4: Mr Cahill is correct that Jeff McCabe and his wife Lisa Gottlieb operate the SELMA cafe and, as the Ann Arbor Chronicle has reported in its May 2nd edition with its usual thoroughness, a homeowner in the area sent an anonymous request to local officials requesting that an investigation be conducted to determine whether or not this establishment is in compliance with applicable law. The request cited various health zoning and other ordinances. The officials receiving the request have redirected the request to the City Attorney’s Office where Kristen Larcom and Steve Postema have corresponded with McCabe regarding these concerns and as I understand it this matter remains open.

    Concerns that I have seen raised by locals is that the enterprise is open to the public, has dozens of patrons in a single day, collects substantial “donations” from patrons, and may not have any sales tax license, commercial liability insurance, or observe state or county health regulations. I wish to stress that I know of no formal charges or confirmed violations, however the fact that such questions exist has been the concern of many in that neighborhood. There is also been a suggestion made that political connections of the operators have deterred more effective enforcement and that they are running this establishment in disregard of applicable law by choice. I personally express no opinion on such allegations but believe that it warrants McCabe publically responding to these issues if he sincerely wants to hold a seat on the board of directors of PFC.

    I would note that McCabe and Gottlieb’s opening up of the SELMA Cafe for business without first ensuring that they were in compliance with applicable laws and ordinance is indicative of a lack of competence and exercise of reasonable care consistent from those one would expect from an individual who is seeking a leadership role in an organization that in primarily invoved in the distribution of food. I have been involved in restaurant operation for decades and am acutely aware of the hiring of accounting and law firms to ensure compliance with all requirements of health departments, taxing authorities, labor departments, building officials, and other agencies at the various levels of government. This is not to mention consultation wuth insurance agencies to investigate the necessity and procurement of various types of insurance to protect the operators, workers, and customers. For McCabe and Gottlieb to ignore these burdens by cheerfully asserting that they are not a restaurant strains credulity. He has impliedly invited the City Attorney’s Office to commence an investigation into the legality of his operation, hoping the city will “work with him”. Why should McCabe operate in this fashion and be rewarded and supported when reasonbly prudent operators of eateries spend dozens of hourrs in manpower and thousands of dollars in professional fees before they open up?

    What may be in the offing is a court battle between the City Attorney’s Office and the SELMA Cafe that could have been avoided if McCabe had acted in a reasonable manner.

    I would not vote for McCabe or recommend anyone else to vote for him as a PFC board member unless he can give a valid and convincing explanation to why he believes his operation of the SELMA Cafe does not violate applicable law and why he did not seek appprovals or professional opinions prior to commencing operation.

    Please explain, Mr. MCabe.

       —Junior    May. 16 '09 - 08:56PM    #
  44. “People and the Land” is a good documentary. I just saw it at Ms. Smith’s recommendation.

    It talks about all kinds of breaches of Geneva Convention by Israel and what it means for the daily lives of a people under occupation.

    Here are a couple of things I picked up there: Approximately $700,000 an hour goes to Israel (U.S. taxes) and it buys human suffering and blood shed. So far, about 60,000 children (under 18) are left disabled by Israeli attacks.

    See the movie and you will learn more about the reasons why NO trade is fair trade with Israel.

    Consider voting for Mr. Herskovitz at PFC.

    You can also, join the Boycott Israel Campaign at the Michigan Student Assembly and Ann Arbor Human rights Commission meetings

    1) Michigan Student Assembly meets on Wednesday, 20th of May at 6:00 PM on the 3rd floor of the union and we will be there again to propose that UM boycott Israel.

    2) Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission meets on June 10th at 7:00 PM, and they have already been approached about the issue of Boycotting Israel. Here is the address to the Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission: the 4th floor of City Hall, 100 N. Fifth Ave.

       —Join the Boycott    May. 16 '09 - 09:43PM    #
  45. hey Henry,

    as long as you want to talk about the Palestinians, a few questions:

    -if the Israelis are engaged in genocide, why is the birth rate in Gaza growing at the rate of 4.3% a year? are the Israelis just really bad at genocide?

    -these displaced Palestinians: could you give us a brief history of the Palestinian people from, say, 1400 on? you can’t? how about 1500? 1600? 1700? still can’t? that’s because the Palestinian people DID NOT EXIST until they were made as a response to the Jewish presence in the holy land. “Palestinians” have a homeland: it’s called Jordan.

    now, can we talk about the Food Coop?

       —rulieg    May. 16 '09 - 10:17PM    #
  46. Do Mrs. Kanner and Mr. McCabe agree with “rulieg”, that there is no such thing as the Palestinian people, and that they actually have no history in Palestine?

    For modern co-op candidates to care about Fair Trade, but to ignore the rights of Palestinians to the land of Palestine… it seems unbelievable.

       —No such thing as Palestinians?    May. 17 '09 - 12:48AM    #
  47. A mere hundred years ago, there was no such thing as a Macedonian, there was no such thing as a Tawainese, there was no such thing as a Palestinian, and there was no such thing as an Israeli. All of those identities (and many others) came into being during the 20th century.

    Millions of people now define themselves using labels that did not exist for their great-grandparents. To dispute their legitimacy defies reality.

       —Larry Kestenbaum    May. 17 '09 - 02:00AM    #
  48. Re: #40: Quoting candidate Henry Herskovitz:

    “I plead guilty to being over 50 and cannot easily multi-task…

    “I’ve concentrated my campaign on just one topic.”

    Guess the former statement explains the monomania, the obsession, the single issue of his whole life (reinforced in the second statement) and why such one dimensionality is exactly what the People’s Food Co-op board doesn’t need.

    “Reason #3 for the WTC bombings was US support for Israel.”

    Well, well, well, Mr. H. shows that he is good at blaming the victims and excusing the mass murderers of 3,000 totally innocent people and then, like the terrorists, lays the blame on the Israelis and US policies! Is this the kind of calm, sane, reasoned thinking the PFC needs?

    “I don’t consider myself the sharpest knife in the drawer”

    Hmmm, the same could be said of a certain George W. Bush, and you saw how great he was at running things. Oh, yes, they’re both good at screwing things up. So, let’s not have on a local level what we just experienced on the international stage for the last eight years: total insanity leading to political and economic ruin and chaos on a massive scale.

    In times like this, in a very difficult economic period, sharp, intelligent, multi-tasking leaders who can keep the Co-op functioning as smoothly as possible and ensure its success into the future are what are called for, not people with obsessive fixations that have nothing to do with the Co-op’s needs and local set of problems. Herskovitz is admitting up front that he’s not at all up to this job, so why waste your votes on him or his partner-in-crime, Chuck Loucks? (As Loucks says in post #44: “I did and do support the BIG campaign as being consistent with Green Party, HVGreens…” –more on this below) You might as well vote for someone living in Australia to be on the board if you accept this one-dimensional lunacy.

    “So please know, Matt, that my running for PFC board on one platform [my emphasis] plank is merely to insure that the boycott of Israelis [sic] goods will be considered front and center, not an ‘add-on’ after my election to the Board.”

    Again and again, Henry Herskovitz admits he has only one issue, one platform, one obsession in his life and will foist that on the membership of the People’s Food Co-op were he somehow able to bamboozle his way onto the board. What does this have to do with any of the real local issues facing the Co-op like fair wages for its employees and possibly returning some dividends to its members, potential expansion, and getting the best produce, food, toiletries, and related items on its shelves? Nothing, absolutely nothing. This is what you’ll get if Herskovitz and Loucks get in. Monomania will not improve the Co-op, and bitter divisiveness like the 2007 BIGot campaign will contribute nothing positive to the administration of the PFC just as didn’t two years ago.

    And, what pray tell makes him so confident he’ll be elected to the board? Has he fixed this election like Bush did in 2000? G-d forbid and alas and alack for the Co-op should Loucks and Herskovitz somehow weasel their way on to the board. The disruption, stagnation, and gridlock would be nothing but inimical to our Co-op and its functioning.

    “I don’t want to have to re-sell the position that Israel has singled itself out by its actions to warrant boycotts, divestment and sanctions.”

    He doesn’t want to, but he keeps on doing it, anyway, proof clear that that’s all he can do, especially since it’s not selling.

    “My qualifications are listed on my candidate statement. An area of interest that I would bring to the board…is the introduction of cooking classes that could help meat eaters like myself become vegetarians. These classes could be held at Whole Foods on AA-Saline Rd for instance, and would help people like myself achieve these goals.”

    Is this some kind of joke? After his only one true issue, the single thing he really cares about, Henry Herskovitz can only offer something as ridiculous as this? Maybe this is the explanation for his aggressive, egomaniacal nature: he east too much meat! If he wants to learn about veggy cooking, why doesn’t he take an existing class somewhere? They already offer such courses at Whole Foods anyway, e.g., through Rec and Ed. Running for the board so he can wean himself off meat? We should elect him so we can pay for him to kick a habit? That’s as useful as his actual only platform plank (well, at least it’s just a tiny tad more positive). And, besides wasting Co-operators’ funds on setting these classes up, he wants to create and move a function of the non-profit Co-op to a large corporate space some three miles away from Kerrytown?

    Oh, and Henry, you’re so keen for the PFC to boycott the handful of Israeli goods it carries? Do you know that the Middle Eastern Couscous that Whole Foods sells is really the same Israeli Couscous proudly sold at the Co-op? Also available at all the big supermarket chains in the area and many small grocers as well.

    Cooking classes? This man’s a riot!

    Re #44: Chuck Loucks says: “I did and do support the BIG campaign as being consistent with Green Party, HVGreens and Co-op values.” Well, since the “Greens” abandoned their once laudable causes of protecting and saving the environment to jump full tilt on Henry’s “boycott Israel” bandwagon, it’s consistent with the first two. Since the PFC overwhelmingly, by 77%-23%, rejected the BIGot boycott referendum—a loss the twin candidates couldn’t accept two years ago and cannot tolerate now, either—the bigoted, one-sided boycott campaign most definitely is not at all consistent with the values of the Co-op, which are obviously more liberal, tolerant, just, and fair-minded than these two single-issue candidates and the failed boycott they keep trying to foist by any means at their disposal on the Co-op members who resoundingly and unequivocally defeated it.

    And, of course, Aimee Smith, Loucks’s fellow “Green,” (#46) in her statement of support for Messieurs Herskovitz and Loucks and her unwarranted attacks on Rebecca Kanner (because she—like the vast majority of Co-op voting members—does not line up behind HH’s, CL’s, and her obsession with singling out Israel as being—in their thin world view—the cause of all the ills on the planet including at the Co-op it seems) cements all-too-clearly that this group of BIGots just cannot tolerate the democratic decision of the Co-op’s members and have only one issue—totally irrelevant to the PFC—as their single playing card. They will try over and over and over and over again to play this marked card and empty hand even though it is unmasked for the sham it is.

    And as one of Phil Ochs’s biggest fans, I am appalled that Smith will take Phil’s words—he’s not here to defend himself—totally out of context. As someone who knew Phil, I am certain he would not be in your camp. He also penned and sang, “Half the world is crazy, the other half is scared.” Ms. Smith, Messieurs Herskovitz and Loucks, and the phony “Greens” are proof positive of that. I leave up to you to decide into which half they fall.

    And, Zach G., bless your heart! You summed up in a few very well-chosen words exactly what the whole campaign boils down to and the undemocratic cynicism and disingenuousness of Herskovitz’s and Loucks’s campaign as aided and abetted by Aimee Smith and her so-called “Greens!” Thank you for telling the truth in such a refreshing and plain spoken manner!

    Please use your votes wisely and elect Rebecca Kanner and Jeff McCabe, the only candidates running for the PFC board who have real platforms to deal with the real issues important to the Co-op and its membership: fresh produce and other good food, cleaning and washing products, utensils, clothes, etc. from sustainable sources of high quality along with a line of other products and services beneficial to the local community.

       —Mike    May. 17 '09 - 07:32AM    #
  49. Re Post#44: I have heard from various sources that the PFC board has on two separate elections extended the deadlines for registering as board director candidates when Huron Valley Greens activist Charles Loucks has tried to run for a director position and was unopposed with respect to getting a director seat.

    Perhaps a board member could disclose whether or not such extensions were granted and, if so the reason or reasons behind such an extension or extensions.

    Are Charles Loucks allegations at Post#44 accurate?

       —Mark Koroi    May. 17 '09 - 09:51AM    #
  50. Re: post #44: Mr. Loucks grumbles:

    “…my wife complains about the quality of vegetables being sold at high cost; many supermarkets in the area reduce the price of aging vegetables in order to clear them sooner from the shelves, apparently, not at the Co-op and I want to look into this as a member of the board.”

    First of all, the supermarkets—all large commercial and profit-generating chains—can afford to have lower prices on their produce as they buy and sell by volume, having dozens, sometimes hundreds of stores in their chains and by dealing with agribusiness. In addition, Kroger and Meijer sell genetically altered food. The Co-op is a small, local, non-profit, member-owned, community-oriented, single-location business that specializes in carrying organic produce and concentrates on locally produced non-GMO fruits and vegetables purchased from small, local farmers.

    Is Mr. Loucks proposing then that the Co-op contribute to putting small Michigan farmers out of business by going the supermarket chain agribusiness route? He clearly demonstrates his utter unfitness to be on the board of the People’s Food Co-op by virtue of his complete ignorance about the difference between huge, corporate supermarkets and mega stores as opposed to small, locally operated grocers. This is the “Green” who sticks up for the little guy against the mega corporations? And, by the way, since you, Mr. Loucks and your running mate, Mr. Herskovitz, are solely concentrating on boycotting Israeli products, you seem to be blissfully unaware that the huge mega markets you are now touting all sell a number of products from Israel. You contradict your arguments at every turn while demonstrating an unbelievable ignorance in all fields especially in your fanatic obsession.

    If you want to put the Co-op out of business by placing its fate in the hands of single-issue extremists, vote for Loucks and Herskovitz. I urge you to use your vote wisely and elect Rebecca Kanner and Jeff McCabe to keep the Co-op functioning smoothly and dealing with legitimate Co-op issues.

       —Mike    May. 17 '09 - 03:56PM    #
  51. I am relatively new to town and was considering joining the co-op. But my interest is food and all I am reading about is hatred and politics. If these are the kind of people who represent the co-op, I think I will keep my business at the supermarket.

    All co-op members should be ashamed.


       —D13    May. 17 '09 - 04:19PM    #
  52. Well, that’s the thing D13 (welcome to town, btw!)…I don’t feel that there is any hatred in the co-op (there’s politics, like many other places). It’s always been a warm, friendly place to me personally. (And for the record, I am Jewish—albeit not a shill for Israel or anything else—and love the Israeli couscous. I have a rockin’ recipe for fig couscous and quinoa that was a huge hit at my last dinner party).

    D13 does bring up a large issue…I hope that other folks who are not co-op members and/or not familiar with it don’t take this thread as being indicative of what the place is like. I don’t know what it’s like to be on the board or work there, but as a consumer I’ve had nothing but positive experiences unmarred by hate or politics or anything else other than good food!

       —TeacherPatti    May. 17 '09 - 07:25PM    #
  53. We also ask,

    that you use a consistent screen name and leave a valid email address.

    This continues to be enforced.

       —Matt Hampel for Arbor Update    May. 17 '09 - 08:28PM    #
  54. D13,

    I’ve been a Co-op member since the mid-80s, and I served as a VP on the Board of the Co-op. If I learned one thing it was that there are as many different opinions as there are members (now there are about 6,000 members). The Co-op, as several others have said, needs Board members who can focus on the big picture associated with keeping the organization healthy, vibrant, an integral part of the community and a place where its members shop.

    Those who want to volunteer to serve on the Board have my thanks. Those who focus on the big picture of running the Co-op as a welcoming, healthy, vibrant, creative Co-op that remains an integral part of the community will get my votes.

    I can understand the desire to make political change through boycotting. It works. At our house, we only eat free trade chocolate, and buy free trade coffee. We’ve quit buying tomatoes out of season, and try very hard to buy food products produced within the Great Lakes region (at the Co-op, Phil has gotten some great prices on a variety of “French” cheese from Wisconsin, for instance).

    It’s a process. We ate only local (Great Lake region) food for six months a while back. My kids considered political revolt as a result of eating so much white fish, trout, apples and pears (We started in July and ended in November).

    What you’re reading on this thread is not a sampling of Co-op members or workers, but rather comments from a group of people who have some strong opinions about a political question. Rather than say welcome to the Co-op or welcome to Ann Arbor, I’ll just say welcome to Arbor Update and the range of opinions represented by those who contribute.

    Do give the Co-op a look.

       —Patricia Lesko    May. 17 '09 - 09:51PM    #
  55. It is funny that this is not the first time I have seen food retailing and international politics collide.

    During the armed conflict in Yugoslavia, a Metro Detroit bakery changed its longtime name from “Belgrade Bakery” to the “Ethnic Bakery” so as to avoid the appearance of taking sides during that conflict; Belgrade was the capital of Serbia, a party in the conflict.

    In the PFC boycott debate, I do not see the issue as hatred, but a healthy debate on what action, if any, needs to be taken to address alleged human rights violations by Israel against Palestinians.

    I got a chuckle a couple of years ago when someone held up a “Don’t Buy Their Baloney” placard in front of the PFC. YouTube currently has a couple of videos of demonstrations in front of the PFC which are worthwhile viewing.

    Many local civic leaders, including Larry Kestenbaum, Dr. Aimee Smith and Joan Lowenstein have expressed their views regarding the PFC boycott efforts. I welcome the discussion.

       —Kerry D.    May. 18 '09 - 04:38AM    #
  56. Yes, it seems that those who are against boycotting Israel have expressed themselves very forcefully in front of the Co-op.

    You may be referring to this video:

    Opponent of Boycotting Israel at People’s Food Co-op

    This video has apparently been viewed by more than 7,800 people.

    It helps one to understand why Mr. Herskovitz is campaigning to boycott the items from Israel which are sold by the Co-op.

       —The Colonel    May. 18 '09 - 08:55PM    #
  57. Kerry D: The ‘debate’ about Israel, the Israel-Palestine conflict, and boycotting Israeli goods is not, as you seem to imply, a manifestation of healthy discussions and political dialog. The issue of boycotting Israeli goods is a smokescreen, a political guise, to the underlying motivation of anti-semitism. This point has been made exceptionally clear by people like former Harvard President and current Obama adviser Larry Summers and NYTimes columnist Thomas Friedman. In the mind of a rational person, any beef with Israel would be near the bottom of the list of current human rights abuses—this is fact. Israeli (alleged) human rights abuses pale in comparison with those of, say Darfur, abuses in in Iraq, Russia, China (Tibet), and ANY Arab country, this again is fact. Standing in front of the Co-op with a sing that says “Fuck Israel,” with swastikas I might add, slandering Jews with such vitriol as to be reminiscent of the Germany of the 1930s (like in the BIGots blogs [ie ], and standing in front of a Synagogue for over 5 years harassing worshipers, is childish, destructive, counterproductive, and bigoted! Not constructive discourse! And to compare the thug and bigot Aimme Smith to a respected member and civic leader of Ann Arbor- Joan Lowenstein- is repulsive.

       —Zach G    May. 18 '09 - 09:25PM    #
  58. Zachary Goldsmith apparently is unaware of the law of libel. He has, for some unknown reason, accused a Green Party official of being a “thug and a bigot”. How it that in keeping with co-operative values? Has anyone in the Green Party ever insulted Mr. Goldsmith? As far as I can tell, they merely ask for human rights action (boycott) against a foreign state (Israel.)

       —The Colonel    May. 18 '09 - 09:33PM    #
  59. Blain or Michelle (AKA the idiot, infantile alias “the colonel”): are you accusing me of libel?! Calling someone whatever I want is protected by the first amendment! I do believe that civil freedoms and the constitution are very much within “co-operative values.” Also, the last time I checked, racism and bigotry were not—so sorry. Picketing a house of worship, harassing congregants, holding signs festooned with swastikas reading “Fuck Israel” is not “merely ask[ing] for human rights action” it is asinine, childish, thuggery.

    Please, anyone who has any questions or is on the fence at all about these people, the BIGots, the people looking for a boycott, Charles Louckes, and their leader Henry Herskovits, visit their websites, see what they themselves say and do. There websites, overflowing with hatred and venom will answer any questions and show you-with out a doubt- who these people truly are.

       —Zach G    May. 18 '09 - 09:46PM    #
  60. Aside from personal insults of a very grave nature, Mr. Zachary Goldsmith has failed to show why the people of Palestine should be denied the right to full self-governance in their own home. That must be why it is called Palestine, after all. Nor has he shown why a very normal human rights boycott, against Israel, is in any way counter to co-operative values.

       —The Colonel    May. 18 '09 - 09:52PM    #
  61. Regarding the colonel’s sterling legal points: I think it worth reminding that there is a distinct differences between ‘libel’ and ‘insult’(and if it’s true it aint libel). Anti-semites by definition are complicit in thuggery, and the colonel is guilty of libel in this thread, by accusing me of it and for the earlier attack of Dr Pastner). The Colonel and the BIGots, the HV Greens, and the sorry souls who picket at Beth Israel are indeed anti-Semites. Anti-semitism is defined by the US government as, among other things, “The demonization of Israel, or vilification of Israeli leaders, sometimes through comparisons with Nazi leaders, and through the use of Nazi symbols to caricature them, indicates an anti-Semitic bias rather than a valid criticism of policy concerning a controversial issue.” The BIGots routinely hold signs comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, complete with swastikas, which is anti-semitic. See our very own Henry Herskovits’ website ( where these bigots are holding such signs in front of a Synagogue (sans swastikas, something appearing, as far as I have seen, only in signs held by Blaine Coleman).
    A boycott distracts from any legitimate issue and only serves to break-down any sort of constructive dialog. AND I have NEVER said “the people of Palestine should be denied the right to full self-governance in their own home.” I believe they should have just this—and I believe they could have this the moment they give up violence and hatred for peace and acceptance.

    Finally, if ‘the colonel’s ‘legal team is not clear on the finer points of libel and protected speech other attorneys of our acquaintance are.

    And Matt: please ask that the colonel reveal him or herself and only post by their name, as this person has already accused two people (falsely) of crimes in this very thread.

       —Zach G    May. 18 '09 - 10:14PM    #
  62. If it is a crime, or “anti-Semitism”, simply to engage in “vilification of Israeli leaders”, where is the United States law which states that?

    If a boycott against Israel “distracts from any legitimate issue”, would you say the same about the boycotts against South Africa in the 1980’s?

       —The Colonel    May. 18 '09 - 10:23PM    #
  63. Funny thing is I used to shop at PFC – don’t anymore I go to a place to “BUY” and some of these candidates have personal agendas. It seems like the first issue is to sell less food by getting rid of all products made from Israel. What products are next, and hopefully some of you are smart enough to know that this is the tip of the mountain.

    Get real leave politics out of food – a lot of other countries do not nice things so lets get rid of food from them. I am sure that even local growers have issues – GONE! well then now we have a store that sells nothing and I am sure that will perturb more people so whats next?


       —Dill    May. 18 '09 - 10:33PM    #
  64. The definition of anti-semitism I provided was from the State Department and can be found here: . The US Civil Rights Commission defines similarly here: . Of course, in the US where we rightly value freedom of speech highly, bigoted speech is not a crime. The difference, between a boycott of Israel and that of South Africa was that in the case of the former there is no apartheid or any such human rights abuses on par with those of the later. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But, as we do all know, any Arab state’s human rights records surly rival those of the 1980s South Africa (ie nearly universal oppression of women, institutional discrimination and abuses toward gays and other minorities, in addition to things like child marriages, false imprisonment, torture, lack of civil liberties etc., etc., etc.).

    And Colonel, this is my final response to you— I can’t waste my time chasing ghosts around with you. You have shown everyone here your true colors as have I—and I even used my real name. Happy voting and don’t be too broken up when your boys loose.

       —Zach G    May. 18 '09 - 10:37PM    #
  65. Does this all mean that the Co-op will be eliminating its Fair Trade policies as well? If human rights boycotts are no longer allowed, then why would all that Fair Trade effort be allowed?

       —The Colonel    May. 18 '09 - 10:44PM    #
  66. Re Posts #4 and #44: Does anyone know of the status of the investigation by the City Attorney’s Office relative to that of the SELMA Cafe that had been reported earlier in the Ann Arbor Chronicle.

    The SELMA Cafe, as reported earlier, is operated by PFC board candidate Jeff McCabe and his wife.

       —Mark Koroi    May. 18 '09 - 10:47PM    #
  67. To Matt Hampel for ArborUpdate:

    Re: 55, “We also ask, that you use a consistent screen name and leave a valid email address.

    “This continues to be enforced.”


    Do you mean to tell us that among the messages in this thread signed

    “—Join the Boycott” (post #45)

    “—No such thing as Palestinians?” (#47)

    which seem eerily similar in syntax, style, and wording to messages written under dozens of screen names on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Arbor Update the last couple of years or so—many of them fairly obviously from Blaine Coleman—and lately by “The Colonel,” not a single one is an example of the use of multiple screen names? If so, and even in just one case, shouldn’t all of those messages with the inconsistent screen names be removed just as some by such people as “Woody Call” and perhaps a few others were erased? Otherwise, aren’t you employing a double standard by censoring messages from one camp on this issue and allowing those from the other side to stand and thus go unchallenged?

    Please explain.


       —Mike    May. 18 '09 - 11:49PM    #
  68. With 100% of the Congress voting for aid to Israel, and 100% of the major newspapers refusing to condemn Israel, there is really not much danger that the Israeli point of view will be stifled, is there? Can we return the discussion to the Co-op candidates’ platforms, including Mr. Herskovitz’s platform? We have not heard the remaining candidates’ views on boycotting Israel, as of now.

       —The Colonel    May. 19 '09 - 12:48AM    #
  69. Interesting how Matt Hampel has reminded posters frequently that this discussion is about the Co-op board candidates and their platforms and not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict yet Colonel Coleman—oops, I should say “The Colonel,” Aimee Smith (in protracted tirades), and a few others with long headline-like screen names, discuss virtually nothing else, yet are allowed to do so with impunity while some who have challenged their harangues have had their messages deleted and/or not even published.

    And, I see that the Colonel hypocritically weighed in (#70) demanding we discuss the candidates and their platforms when he just continues—like his two chosen candidates—to rail on and on and on and on and on about boycotting Israel as usual. Maybe the other two candidates, Jeff and Rebecca, the only legitimate candidates for these positions aren’t jumping in here because they are busy actually doing positive things and not mouthing off like Loucks and Herskovitz and their supporters like Blaine (I mean, The “Colonel”). It’s clear that they’re probably not even looking in at this site with its screed-filled posts.

    Do the Co-op members actually want people who can only talk and talk, write one-dimensional blog messages, picket synagogues on the Sabbath and other holidays, and do nothing whatever constructive? I sincerely doubt it. In fact, Herskovitz and Loucks are too busy running their mouths and picketing against Israel all the time that one must wonder, when would they have time to attend to the board’s business? It’s so transparent that they only want this position to use board meetings as another place to continue their heretofore futile protest and attempt to hijack the board and the Co-op as they and their followers attempt to do again and again all over town from religious services to City Council meetings to cultural events.

    Or, do PFC members want people like Jeff McCabe and Rebecca Kanner who take actions in the world relevant to sustainable food and work towards truly impacting the environment in a positive way unlike the phony Huron Valley “Greens” who have long since abdicated their once lofty stated goals to concentrate on non-stop attacks not only on the Middle East’s only true democracy, but anyone anywhere who does not share their extremist views? I think the choice is so clear that it shouldn’t even be a cause for debate except when fanatics make it into one.

    Anyway, it should be patently clear that both Charles Loucks and Henry Herskovitz have no other proposal besides boycotting Israeli goods—even though the membership decisively rebuffed that desperate call just two years ago in a fair, democratic election and not long afterward, rejected Loucks’s previous candidacy for the board.

    Only when they were pressed, did both Mr. Herskovitz and Mr. Loucks conjure up one patently absurd pseudo issue each, which only demonstrated beyond any shadow of doubt how not only absolutely unqualified they are to serve on the PFC board by reason of ignorance of what a local food co-op is about, but how caustic, disruptive, contentious, and destructive they are to the People’s Food Co-op. What were their fabricated (certainly out of desperation) issues? Mr. Herskovitz wants the Co-op to finance cooking classes to help him convert from being a carnivore to an herbivore, at Whole Foods no less—a huge corporate conglomerate as unlike a business as the Co-op as there is—while Mr. Loucks is upset that the Co-op, which tends to buy fresh, local, low-volume, small farmer produced, organic or untreated produce, doesn’t spiral its prices down when food is on the shelf a little longer as they do in huge, commercial supermarkets who buy from massive agribusiness corporations. One would waste the PFC members’ resources to aid him to kick a habit; the other would assist in dealing a death blow to the small agricultural concerns and probably the Co-op as well by trying to get the PFC to compete with chains in a very uneven battle. These are the same people who always say they stick up for the “little guy!”

    Rebecca Kanner has made the Co-op a central part of her life. She would continue and work towards enhancing its local, small business orientation and sound environmental practices. Among others, she has worked with and learned from the Ecology Center, the Community Farm of Ann Arbor, and the Leslie Science Center. She states plainly that she wants to continue the Co-op’s “support of local produce and other products, and ethical impacts of buying local.” She wants to ensure that the PFC follows economically sound policies that will ensure its future, not conflict-ridden practices that will help bring an end to this local institution as two of her opponents champion.

    Jeff McCabe is similarly dedicated to supporting locally produced, healthful foods and works with such organizations as Growing Hope and Agrarian Adventure. Sustainability and self-reliance within a cooperative model are keys to his campaign.

    This is the kind of experience and positive energy that the People’s Food Co-op needs and not the single issue political extremism that emanates from Loucks and Herskovitz.

    Vote for Rebecca Kanner and Jeff McCabe to keep the Co-op on a positive, energetic, progressive, and stable path!

       —Mike    May. 19 '09 - 02:17AM    #
  70. Mike: How do you respond to the May 2nd Ann Arbor Chronicle story that Jeff McCabe’s SELMA Cafe is under investigation by City Attorney Steve Postema based upon a request for investigation filed by an apparent neighbor that applicable laws and regulations have not been observed?

    There have already been reported changes, including the agreed-upon transfer of a live chicken from the front of the cafe.

    Aren’t there issues of McCabe’s suitability as a PFC director if he is not observing rules and regulations involving food service or distribution in another setting?

    David Cahill brought this issue up first on this thread several days ago and McCabe has not responded on this thread to defend or explain his actions.

    I would like Jeff McCabe to address the concerns raised in the Ann Arbor Chronicle article.

       —Mark Koroi    May. 19 '09 - 04:07AM    #
  71. Why did the Co-op Board break its own election deadlines in order to recruit Rebecca Kanner and Jeff McCabe to oppose Mr. Herskovitz? Is Mr. Herskovitz’s message of boycotting Israel something that the current Board cannot allow?

    If Mr. Herskovitz is elected, will the Board simply vote to remove him, rather than to allow advocacy of boycott?

       —The Colonel    May. 19 '09 - 07:40PM    #
  72. Re: #73:

    It isn’t (just) the board who reject Herskovitz and Loucks and their single, fanatical issue of boycotting (the handful of) Israeli products carried by the People’s Food Coop.

    In 2007, the vast majority of voting members of the Co-op decidedly defeated the BIGot referendum by a clear-cut total of 77%-23%! And then, the same electorate put the kibosh on Loucks’s first stealth candidacy for the board shortly thereafter by again rejecting him and his lack of experience, knowledge, and ability in reference to a food co-op then as they will, I hope, do once again as he and Herskovitz are no more qualified to be on the board now than Loucks was then.

    What Messieurs Herskovitz and Loucks, “The Colonel,” Aimee Smith, and their group just won’t ever accept—perhaps even fail to understand—is that the vast majority of the Co-op members along with the community as a whole including many people who support a genuine peace in the Middle East reject and revile their narrow-minded, single-issue program of hatred, bigotry, and intolerance, all totally irrelevant to the PFC, all absolutely rebuffed by the PFC as a communal entity. If you can’t abide by the democratic decisions of the majority, why don’t you go away and start your own business and carry whatever the heck you want there and leave the rest of us who love and support our food co-op alone? Thank you very much!

    Vote for Rebecca Kanner and Jeff McCabe, and keep the Co-op focused on what its members want, not the dictates of a handful of fanatics. Vote for Jeff and Rebecca for common sense and for people who know their way around a communal cooperative food business and what it needs to keep it moving forward. Rebecca and Jeff are people who will not tear the PFC asunder like the other two, but keep it an integral and functioning organic part of the Ann Arbor community.

       —Mike    May. 19 '09 - 09:02PM    #
  73. A simple humanitarian boycott of Israel, after Gaza suffered so immensely. This is Mr. Herskovitz’s modest, and honest, platform for Co-op election.

    It is a matter to be discussed normally, not as something that will “tear the PFC asunder”.

    Why so much panic about that simple human rights stance by a Co-op Board candidate?

       —The Colonel    May. 19 '09 - 09:21PM    #
  74. Guess you can’t read repeated, plain English much less the handwriting on the wall. You can hide behind oxymorons like “simple, humanitarian boycott,” (I’ll grant you that your campaign is simple MINDED and simplistic, that is).

    This issue wasted an enormous amount of the time, energy, and even funds of the Co-op board and members less than two years ago and it, like Loucks’s candidacy shortly thereafter, was defeated, utterly and without a shadow of doubt. So, yes, indeed, the unwillingness to see that you lost is not only an obsession, but it is coupled with a willingness to destroy a local group if it won’t bend to your will (in some places, this is called totalitarianism or, at least, dictatorship). The BIGot campaign already caused much dissension and controversy very recently, and it keeps trying to do the same over and over again, no matter how often, how recently rebuffed that agenda is.

    The question is why so much alarm and unwillingness on the part of the proponents of the Herskovitz-Loucks-Coleman-Smith-Colonel propaganda to accept the clear and unambiguous will of the majority.

    The Herskovitz and Loucks candidacies have nothing at all to do with the Co-op and its needs and interests, and everything to do with time and time and time and time again trying to force in any manner possible a very narrow, fanatic, extremist, one-sided agenda on every group in town including the Co-op—a desperate and flailing attempt—with large, professionally-printed signs and uncivil slogans thereupon—and failing to realize that your program is utterly rejected, absolutely unwanted, and entirely irrelevant to the what the Co-op members want and need. Like all fanatics, you don’t know the meaning of compromise and dialog and try to hijack every activity and organization in the vicinity. The absolute inability to accept that and take your hate-filled signs elsewhere is not just a fixation, it borders on illness.

    I’ve noticed that one thing that the BIGot posters on this blog excel at is projection. What you label as “panic” is your own inability to swallow defeat and how irrelevant you are to most of the good citizens of Ann Arbor and of the PFC as well.

    Attempts at having a discussion with you, Mr. or Ms. “The Colonel,” and Herskovitz and Smith et al, is like trying to argue with a broken record. You keep spouting your rejected party line and keep hoping against hope that, like all other big lies, if repeated often enough it may someday take. Well, the members of the People’s Food Co-op as well as of this community, are not buying it.

       —Mike    May. 19 '09 - 10:09PM    #
  75. The remarkable thing is this:

    There really is no controversy about what Israel has done to the Gaza Strip. There is also no controversy about boycotting human rights violators, such as Israel. Boycotts are done all the time. Are some Israelis upset about their government being boycotted at the Co-op? Yes, but that does not create a controversy by itself.

       —The Colonel    May. 19 '09 - 11:23PM    #
  76. Colonel, you have a remarkable propensity for trying to force your monochromatic opinions on everyone. You may think the whole world shares your beliefs because your viewpoint is so limited, but it’s not even taken up by most of us in this very liberal town, which is not surprising when your thinking is so blinkered and based on what appear to be very undemocratic, unsound, and immoderate principles.

    And, you continually stray far from the subject at hand, the People’s Food Co-op elections that is, and that’s why your radical, hate-fueled referendum supported by your BIGoted candidates was easily defeated not even two years ago.

    A simple truth: Herskovitz’s and Loucks’s candidacies are steeped in one and only one issue, and it’s one that is not relevant to the functioning of the PFC, and its members rejected it resoundingly. What part of rejected don’t you understand?

    You can continue to say that your right wing, theocratic, murderous, misogynist, antisemitic, homophobic, terrorist Hamas is downtrodden and represents a just cause, but that doesn’t make it so. Unless people toe your party line right down to the last dotted i, you will continue to belittle their viewpoints and think that yours is sacred and infallible. That is the essence of dictatorship and the incubator for tyranny.

    And, for your information, the Israeli products sold at the Co-op, Whole Foods, Kroger, Hillers, Meijer, Busch’s, and a number of Arab markets, too, in SE Michigan are not produced by the Israeli government. And it is not only Israelis that reject your way of thinking; it’s virtually everyone. Your ignorance is really of epic proportions, and so it is with your very limited, uninformed platform. Watch out that you don’t fall through its tiny, splintered planks.

    Are some extremists upset that their referendum, candidates, and propaganda are rejected time and time again? Yes, and that’s why they’ll do anything they possibly can out of sheer desperation married to their stubborn BIGotry to try to force themselves and their extremism on a very unwilling majority and attempt to disrupt the workings of any organization in the area—including a house of worship.

    You just won’t accept defeat, will you? You may have the delusion that your candidates and your BIGoted boycott aren’t contentious, but that’s your problem. Don’t keep trying to make it everyone else’s.

       —Mike    May. 20 '09 - 08:15AM    #
  77. Is this horse not flogged into kibble already? Granted I’m the only Republican who shops at the co-op but I made dang sure I didn’t vote for Hank and Chuck, I voted for the hardcore food freaks, since, um, thats the whole point of the joint. MoveOn already and let me buy my overpriced hippy groceries in peace. No Justice No Kale!

       —Thomas Cook    May. 20 '09 - 08:20AM    #
  78. Mike, I tried asking a question about the source of the products a long time ago — zero response. We have no idea what the social policies of the manufacturers are. With the, uh, energy the protesters have put into this, I’d imagine we would know by now if they were remotely questionable.

    Nothing really remarkable, consciousness-raising exercise that is earning the movement a lot of ill-will.

       —Matt Hampel    May. 20 '09 - 08:45AM    #
  79. I have been rebuffed also on questions that relate to candidate Jeff McCabe’s SELMA Cafe and the status of the City Attorney’s Office investigation reported in tha Ann Arbor Chronicle.

    Secondly, regarding the Israeli-imported products, who manufactures, wholesales, ships, or otherwise benefits from the distribution of these products? And what are the social policies of the entities who are engaged in these processes?

    Thirdly, what is the response to the allegation that candidate registration deadlines were extended by the Board on two occaisions so there would be an opponent to Charles Loucks, whom the Board did not approve of.

    These are very basic questions that are related to the both the PFC and the fair election of directors as well as whether the proposed boycott targets the proper products. I recall the argument two years ago that boycotting couscous would economically damage Palestinian interests.

    Please, please, please someone respond to these important points that have been repeatedly asked on this thread and refrain from personal attacks!

       —Mark Koroi    May. 20 '09 - 09:35AM    #
  80. To answer your question, one would hope that Laura Meisler, Outreach Co-ordinator for People’s Food Co-op, would know the exporters of those Israeli products.

    There was a very precise accounting, of those Israeli exports to the Co-op, given in Portland Indymedia by “Laura M.”, Ann Arbor, under her chosen title of “Not in Portland”—

    Article in Portland Indymedia:

    “Boycott-Israel Vote is Announced by People’s Food Co-op”


    “Not in Portland”,
    by Laura M, Ann Arbor

    “Be careful what you ask for! This resolution, if passed, would result in potentially hundreds of co-op members resigning, and the co-op could lose thousands of dollars in equity.

    “All this over less than a dozen products that make up less than 1/2 of 1 percent of the store’s annual sales.”


    Perhaps Laura can name those Israeli exporters, for the education of the community, unless the Co-op has directed her to keep that information from the membership and the public.

       —The Colonel    May. 20 '09 - 05:13PM    #
  81. colonel – perhaps it is the responsibility of those who are making this an issue to find that information for themselves. do you really think the coop keeps track of the details of every product they carry? you are making it an issue — so back it up with some info. those products have labels — maybe you could start there

       —angry coop member    May. 20 '09 - 05:35PM    #
  82. Thanks to “angry co-op member” for the suggestion. But surely anger is not in order. We are only talking about a human rights proposal here, by a Board candidate. As for what Mr. Herskovitz is allowed to know, as he campaigns for boycott, certainly he can see Israeli Couscous on the shelves.

    If the Co-op Board keeps their other Israeli imports a secret, even from themselves, closing their eyes as they write the checks for Israeli Couscous, then, yes, that would be an argument against boycotting Israeli goods.

    But who would believe it?

    If Mr. Herskovitz wins a seat on the Board, will the rest of the Board allow him to know and reveal the Co-op’s Israeli products, including Israeli exporters to the Co-op?

       —The Colonel    May. 20 '09 - 05:45PM    #
  83. Quoting Thomas: “MoveOn already and let me buy my overpriced hippy groceries in peace. No Justice No Kale!”

    That is AWESOME! Think of the bumperstickers—no justice! no kale! know justice! know kale!

       —TeacherPatti    May. 20 '09 - 06:58PM    #
  84. kernal – it makes me angry when people carry swastika signs in front of my coop.
    but I must be too angry to follow the rest of what you’re trying to day.

       —angry coop member    May. 20 '09 - 07:04PM    #
  85. Yes, that is a real point of view, for some co-op members: give me my kale, and don’t trouble me about the planet that grew it, or was prevented from growing it.

    Voting, in future elections, may show that Co-op members prefer to limit their politics to Fair Trade, and to limit that Fair Trade to ares outside of Palestine. It may be that Co-op members prefer to eliminate Fair Trade entirely, and to simply pocket the savings by shopping from the cheapest distributors. The voting will tell.

    Idealism has a cost, and voting has a cost. The Board members may choose to eliminate both, and to let the co-op pocket the savings. But without voting, and without some thought of the common good, including Palestine, isn’t there a greater cost?

    Every vote for Mr. Herskovitz will reveal the extent to which the common good, of Palestinians surviving a harsh foodless siege, are in the thoughts of Ann Arbor co-op members.

       —The Colonel    May. 20 '09 - 07:08PM    #
  86. wow – that’s the kind of thing that makes me angry, the idea that we’re all ignorant racists if we don’t vote for your guy. good job, you’re alienating the very people you should be trying to woo.

       —angry coop member    May. 20 '09 - 07:30PM    #
  87. Colonel, acm has the right idea. You want the products out and you’ve set up a huge straw man to accomplish it. Now do your research and find out what the products are and why they contribute to human rights violations. That would make a compelling argument.

    Again, I haven’t seen any of this.

       —Matt Hampel    May. 20 '09 - 07:59PM    #
  88. If the Co-op will release the information, that would help us all gauge the ease with which boycott of Israeli goods could be accomplished.

    If the co-op refuses to release the names of its Israeli products, and the names of the Israeli exporters who send them here, is there some other source to research whether Mr. Herskovitz’s main platform plank can be accomplished by the Co-op?

    Certainly, a vegetable from Israel, or from South Africa, is not committing human rights abuses. But the boycotts against Israel, and South Africa, were launched to address those abuses. Boycotts of Coke are done at co-ops for the same reasons.

       —The Colonel    May. 20 '09 - 08:10PM    #
  89. if you don’t know, why is there a boycott effort in the first place? Is the label “Product of Israel” enough to set you off?

       —angry coop member    May. 20 '09 - 08:44PM    #
  90. There are interesting issues as to whether the Board has the legal authority to extend filing deadlines for board candidates. One would have to review the by-laws, but I believe the Board would have a very hard time justifying a deadline extension based solely on the fact that they do not like the politics of the candidate.

    It should be noted this is the second time this has been done to Charles Loucks. He has run twice for the board and each time he has had no opponent when the initial deadline has passed, only to have someone file to run against him during the extended period.

    It seems to me the Board’s silence on this oft-repeated matter is evidence that the extension had more to do with keeping Loucks off the board rather due to his controversial political beliefs than any benign motive. This would seem to me an unreasonable exercise of the Board’s power that could be challenged. Perhaps the ACLU should look into this.

       —Mark Koroi    May. 20 '09 - 08:52PM    #
  91. yes one would have to look at the bylaws — perhaps the one raising the issue? But I’ve done it for you in a matter of less than a minute:

    “5.4 NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS Elections will be supervised by a committee appointed by the Board of Directors. Candidates may be nominated by this committee or by a member submitting their own Statement of Candidacy to the Board of Directors prior to a deadline to be set by the Board of Directors. The Co-op shall invite members to submit a Statement of Candidacy by posting notices in the stores for at least twenty-one (21) days before the deadline set by the Board of Directors. “

    seems like there’s nothing in there to preclude the board of directors from changing its deadline for whatever reason.
    hey, i also wanted to ask, did boycott supporters actually ask for the information you say is being withheld? names and dates would really bolster your argument.

       —angry coop member    May. 20 '09 - 09:26PM    #
  92. What if any products are from China? Or from Africa? A lot of places have issues with human rights and not all places have “fair trade”.

    A question would be lets say one of these new people get voted onto the board – after they get rid of a few products on the shelves will they remain on the board or will they find the next protest to protest? Can the candidates answer that question.

    One you start pulling things off shelves I (granted) am only one person but that is less cash at PFC and more somewhere else. Now my family may also not shop because of pulling items, and hey they might have friends and so on, this is not a threat just facts. Just because you win you still in the long run lose.

    - Dill

       —Dill    May. 20 '09 - 09:48PM    #
  93. Dill has presented the case against human rights being allowed to influence purchasing by the co-op. He is right: it is costly. Eliminating the co-op’s Fair Trade policies would save even more costs to consumers, but does the co-op want to go down that road?

    One candidate has come out for counting Palestine as a place whose human rights must be taken into account in the co-op’s purchasing. The election will show how many support him.

       —The Colonel    May. 20 '09 - 10:04PM    #
  94. You don’t even know the products?

    Step 1: Walk in to co-op.

    Step 2: Look for products with Israel marks.

    Step 3: Do some research

    Then come back at me with how the co-op is at all relevant to your struggle.

       —Matt Hampel    May. 20 '09 - 10:26PM    #
  95. I have to decline Mr. Hampel’s request that I finger all of the co-op’s thousands of items, photographing them, searching for Israeli markings, and then hoping that the readers of this thread will credit my report as being true. Seasonal fruits won’t always be on display, for example.

    Instead, is it too much to ask that the co-op spend 3 minutes accounting for their Israeli products and Israeli exporters, by name? If Laura M. is correct, that should amount to less than a dozen items. That is a rather easy target for a campaign to boycott Israeli goods, and would tend to support Mr. Herskovitz’s campaign.

       —The Colonel    May. 20 '09 - 10:33PM    #
  96. the burden of proof should be on the people pushing the boycott. otherwise you’re just blowing smoke and sounding like racists.

       —angry coop member    May. 21 '09 - 12:45AM    #
  97. A co-op candidate is expressing compassion for Palestine, the same as so many expressed compassion for South Africa under white rule. That co-op candidate, Mr. Herskovitz joins the tradition of co-op boycotts, for example of Coca-Cola. He asks for boycott of Israel.

    The co-op voters will have their say on this. That will be the proof of the value which co-op members are placing on Palestinian life. I am sorry that “angry co-op member” feels otherwise, but he or she can vote too.

       —The Colonel    May. 21 '09 - 01:01AM    #
  98. don’t put words in my mouth. you don’t know anything about me. I could be Palestinian myself for all you know.
    your guy expresses “compassion” in a strange way.
    he could make a rational argument, but instead uses hyperbole and innuendo. you call into question the human rights records of the importers and producers of goods made in Israel without evidence, other than, apparently, the very fact that they come from israel. when asked for this evidence, you say the questioner has no compassion for Palestinians. I just don’t follow you.
    and, though it has been pointed out a million times here, the coop membership already had its say, and you lost.

       —angry coop member    May. 21 '09 - 01:28AM    #
  99. Mark,
    The Palestinian call for broad boycotts, divestment and sanctions(BDS) can be viewed here.

    The original July 2005 call was endorsed by more than 170 Palestinian organizations. Honoring the call for BDS honors the collective will of the Palestinian people as best we can determine it.

    Since the recent invasion of Gaza there has been not only a renewed call for BDS and an American campaign for academic and cultural boycotts , but a growing number of Israeli Jews adding their name to the call for BDS. The new level of brutality and sadism unleashed by Israel against the already starving people of Gaza has made many more people realize that the regular people of this world will need to be the ones to lead the way to sane and just policies – governments, the UN, international courts currently allow Israel to commit genocide (as per the UN legal definition of that word) with impunity.

    The practices of the particular manufacturers, distributors, and producers in Israel is not relevant to this boycott since it is a call for broad boycotts of all Israeli goods. The claim that boycotting will harm Palestinians is a recycled claim from those hoping to protect apartheid South Africa from boycotts. The Gazans, for example, who continue to face siege conditions clearly are not being aided by symbolic purchases of couscous from the society that is murdering them. But if enough of us were to respond with conscience to the Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions, it would send the message that we will not normalize with genocide. That is the kind of message that could help lift the siege on Gaza and, in any case, is both moral and worth trying.

    The Green Party of the United States adopted a position in support of boycotts of and divestment from Israel in 2005.

    Not a single person from the Huron Valley Greens voted in that resolution yet the resolution passed overwhelmingly. The Green movement recognizes basic human rights and thus finds it natural to respond to a call from those resisting genocide, particularly where our own governement and society are complicit. To the extent we live our values, we Greens will support such movements This is nothing new. And I don’t believe I am overstating the case when I say that a future human presence on this planet depends upon the success of such movements.

    Aimee Smith
    Co-chair Huron Valley Greens

       —Aimee Smith    May. 21 '09 - 03:07AM    #
  100. In regard to post #93,

    ‘yes one would have to look at the bylaws — perhaps the one raising the issue? But I’ve done it for you in a matter of less than a minute:

    “5.4 NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS Elections will be supervised by a committee appointed by the Board of Directors. Candidates may be nominated by this committee or by a member submitting their own Statement of Candidacy to the Board of Directors prior to a deadline to be set by the Board of Directors. The Co-op shall invite members to submit a Statement of Candidacy by posting notices in the stores for at least twenty-one (21) days before the deadline set by the Board of Directors. “

    seems like there’s nothing in there to preclude the board of directors from changing its deadline for whatever reason.’

    The problem I have found is that the Board announces a deadline, then allows the people they’ve recruited to be nominated well after the publicly announced deadline has passed. The Board can, according to the Bylaws quoted, set the deadline but once set, the board must abide by its own deadline; the board is not authorized by the Bylaws to nominate people after the publicly announced deadline has passed since this would in effect extend the deadline only to favored candidates of the elections committee while blocking members from seeking additional candidates. Angry Coop Member is just plain wrong in asserting that the Coop has acted within the letter of the Bylaws on this point. The justification given to me was that the Board wanted to ensure a competitive election due to the fact that a quorum is required to seat candidates for the board. However, this issue of quorum should not be an issue in this election due the fact that Bylaw changes are also being voted on. I continue to assert that Rebecca Kanner and Jeff McCabe should not be on the ballot if they signed their nominating forms after the announced extended deadline had passed. As far as I know, there was no public announcement from the Coop saying who had filed their nominating forms the day after the deadline, plus it is my understanding from listening to and talking to some of the current board members that Kanner and McCabe were late with their filing.
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    May. 21 '09 - 03:45AM    #
  101. Charles, if they were late in filing you should lodge a protest with the board. It appears the Board likes to change the goalposts while the field goal attempt is in the air to further their own objectives. What a joke!

       —Larry Fugle    May. 21 '09 - 03:52AM    #
  102. I notice that Aimee Smith cites me as a source of information (about candidate Kanner) and then vilifies me almost immediately. Take that as you will.

    The vote on the previous boycott referendum did come out about 77-23, as mentioned here – but with only less than 1200 voters, around 20% of the membership at the time. So it was not an “overwhelming majority of the voting membership” – just those that voted.

    As to the extending of deadlines – Chuck is right in the reporting of the justification (you can look it up in board minutes), that two candidates for two openings on the board would almost certainly not result in achieving quorum (people tend not to bother voting when there’s no contest – see the recent School Board elections). Yes, there are bylaws amendments on the ballot, but are not likely to do anything more to ensure quorum – many folks don’t even bother to vote on the bylaws, only the candidates.

    This rationale (desiring quorum) was in place for the last election, where Chuck was the only candidate filing on time for two open spots. It is not particularly nice that Chuck was diligent in getting his papers in on time last time, only to have the deadline extended to allow for more candidates, and then losing the election to those candidates. It would also not be particularly nice if that were to happen again this year. But I do assert that it is the board’s right to ensure a viable election. The result of not meeting quorum would be an election do-over, with exactly the same candidates and bylaw issues – very expensive in terms of money and time (including volunteer hours spent trying to drum up enough voters to meet quorum).

    I’d also like to address a common misconception about board work – the board does not directly involve itself in the store’s operations. We don’t demand fair-trade rhubarb, we don’t ban mega-corporate cereal, there’s no intervention on behalf of staff or signage or advertising – that’s all the bailiwick of the General Manager, who is the board’s employee. The board sets limits on what the GM can and can’t do, and as long as the GM provides a reasonable interpretation of those rules, the GM does as he pleases (and gets graded on it). The board is more involved in setting the long-term goals and vision of the co-op, through Ends policies (i.e., the desired outcomes for the future of the co-op).

    There are ways that the board can try to insert itself into operations, but generally we are discouraged from doing so. Many candidates put themselves forward as reformers of store policies (I seem to recall doing that myself, originally!), but that’s just not what the board does.

       —Peter Schermerhorn    May. 21 '09 - 07:53AM    #
  103. Re #104: Peter, how do you respond to Chuck’s allegation that these two new candidates in this election filed late even with the deadline extension and were allowed to be candidates?

    Isn’t the fact that Henry and Chuck filed timely for two board vacancies enough to enforce a deadline that was initially set?

    How do you respond to allegations that the board recruited the two new candidates for political reasons?

    Are you still a member of the Huron Valley Greens?

       —Mark Koroi    May. 21 '09 - 08:58AM    #
  104. Some historical perspective here: last year, two slots were open, I was the only candidate to file on time. The board recruited two candidates, one of whom was and is a store employee (this employee grades the GM who in turn grades the employee). There were two seats open, both of which went to the two recruited candidates. This year, with myself and Henry filing on time, they again recruit two candidates. Notice they always recruit enough candidates to knock-off the BIG supporters. This year they could have recruited only one candidate, leaving three candidates for two seats.

       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    May. 21 '09 - 09:39AM    #
  105. Is it a current by-law necessity that the number of candidates on the ballot exceed the number of board vacancies?

       —Mark Koroi    May. 21 '09 - 10:13AM    #
  106. These one-sided demands for scrutinizing only products originating from Israel are clear evidence of the insidious, racist, antisemitic nature of the BIGots’ campaign.

    The unwillingness to accept the very recent outcome of a fair and democratic election and the constant loud and aggressive demands that there be do-overs until the BIGots’ desired result is achieved are just what one would expect from Herskovitz, Loucks, Smith, Coleman, Kinnucan, and The Colonel and other dictators like them.

    How many times do they have to be told the obvious: their antisemitic referendum was soundly defeated less than two years ago by the overwhelming majority of eligible members who made the effort to vote, something that has been pointed out here countless times but is continually ignored by Loucks, The Colonel, Kinnucan, Smith, Herskovitz, et al?

    Why no call to examine every single one of the products on the Co-op’s shelves: the soaps from China; bowls from Southeast Asia; the olive oil from the Palestinian territories (several brands the last time I looked)—how do we know where the money used to purchase those very expensive bottles go? BTW, I have been very supportive of the Co-op carrying these oils as have many of those who oppose the extremist and one-sided attempt to boycott a handful of Israeli products.

    For that matter, do we know everything about all the merchandise that originates from such countries as China, e.g. and African nations whose leaders have so much blood on their hands? The US, especially in the previous eight years, has a very spotty human rights record itself, for that matter. Yet no one even whispers about a campaign of boycotting anything from our own country. Of course, that, too, would be absurd. Soon there would be a market with totally empty shelves.

    When people bellow only for accountability of products from just the world’s single Jewish state and for boycotts of just what comes from Israel and nowhere else; when Herskovitz, Loucks, and their backers focus so much malice on the single state with a Jewish majority in it, one would have to be blind to the sinister hate-filled motives behind it hidden by a truly phony and hypocritical sense of “compassion.”

    Electing either Loucks or Herskovitz is a very dicey proposition. They continually manifest that they have no knowledge of the Co-op and its goods and services and offer only conflict, negativity, confrontation, and contentiousness. Their obsession with one and only one issue that is entirely irrelevant to the Co-op demonstrates that they would be a huge detriment to that organization. They just aren’t fit for these openings. It’s really that plain and simple.

    Rebecca Kanner and Jeff McCabe are the right candidates to serve on the board. They have forward-looking, positive, progressive programs. They know the PFC well as longtime members; they are very familiar with the food business and about matters that are truly meaningful to Co-op members: sustainability, safeguarding the environment, supporting small local farms and favoring organic and untreated produce. McCabe and Kanner have the expertise, experience, and skills needed to help steer the Co-op through a very difficult economic period.

    Vote for Rebecca Kanner and Jeff McCabe to ensure that community food co-ops like ours can remain viable institutions well into the 21st century.

       —Mike    May. 21 '09 - 10:27AM    #
  107. No, there is no bylaw requirement for more candidates than vacancies. The bylaws do charge the board with holding elections, and the board is charged with fiscal responsibility.

    I don’t know whether the two new candidates filed by the extended deadline – but if they did not, the problem of non-contested elections would have remained, so I suppose the board would have been forced to extend again. Board minutes might say more clearly what happened there.

    There were actually five candidates recruited after the deadline was extended – three declined to run this year once it was obvious that there were enough candidates for a contested election, and have pledged to run next year (I have no personal knowledge of who these candidates are).

    It was argued in board deliberations that two candidates for two slots should trigger the election moving forward; the counter-argument that a non-contested election would be futile won the day.

    “The board” did not as a unit go out and recruit candidates. Each board member is charged each year with trying to find candidates – this year and the past three years we failed to do that in large (enough) numbers by the stated deadline. When the deadline was extended, we were given the same charge. I personally found no one willing to run; others did. Who we choose to encourage to run is a personal choice.

    I’ll respond for the last time about Greens, in the hopes that it becomes a non-issue in this thread: yes, I maintain my state party membership in the Greens, which entitles me to belong to the Huron Valley Greens, but I have attended only one meeting in the last two and a half years (and that to try to defend my actions on the board which rankled Greens members).

       —Peter Schermerhorn    May. 21 '09 - 04:00PM    #
  108. Co-op voters are the final authority. On one side is Mr. Herskovitz, a Board candidate who honestly and forthrightly defends a human rights boycott against Israel, citing its killings of thousands of Palestinians.

    On the other side, we have a mountain of personal libels by “Mike”, largely echoing Steve Pastner, accusing boycott supporters of being “racist”, “antisemitic”, “dictators”.

    “Mike” actually names them, and calls them anti-Semites. This libel is a career-killer, and could end up with the victims owning whatever “Mike” currently owns, if they choose to sue.

    Co-op voters, in the privacy of their ballot, will decide. Voters will decide between a human rights activist, Mr. Herskovitz, and a slate endorsed by “Mike”, which he promotes with a string of unsavory personal libels.

       —The Colonel    May. 21 '09 - 06:34PM    #
  109. Re Post#109: Thanks for that information, Peter.

       —Mark Koroi    May. 21 '09 - 07:51PM    #
  110. Hey I just went shopping somewhere else, no longer at PFC. The trend has started, granted it was only about $ 100 or so, but I only shop where people can buy or people sell without making you feel one way or another.

    In addition, if one of these same old, same old gets on the board they better plan on the long haul after all people get elected and removed from offices all the time. Once (that is if) the next election comes around they might get voted off and the next group might put Israel goods back on the shelves. However once someone leaves they may NOT come back.

    - Dill

       —Dill    May. 21 '09 - 09:38PM    #
  111. Dill is certainly right that Mr. Herskovitz’s campaign plank (boycotting Israeli goods) could have the effect of “making you feel one way or another.” Shoppers will either feel that their co-op should protect Palestinians with a symbolic human rights gesture, or not.

    Shoppers may appreciate being able to vote on that, especially after seeing over a thousand Palestinian lives snuffed out earlier this year, during the Israeli bombing of Gaza.

    Some shoppers, like Dill, may find it traumatic to be exposed to any voting that could “make you feel one way or another.” Eliminating voting, all voting, would be a way to win back similar shoppers. Of course, Co-op members could vote on that option.

       —The Colonel    May. 21 '09 - 09:50PM    #
  112. colonel, i just love the way you frame things. its either a human rights activist or a slate supported a libelous person. yeah right. its either a person with compassion for palestine or a person with none.
    you remind me of coulter, oreilly and hannity, who make the most outrageous claims then retreat to innocent claims of “who, me? i’m just a simple man of the people/human rights activist/making a joke, etc.” i don’t think anyones buying it, man.

       —angry coop member    May. 21 '09 - 10:52PM    #
  113. We should probably let the other candidates speak for themselves, on the issue of boycotting Israel. It may be that Mrs. Kanner, and Mr. McCabe, have been moved enough by the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, to the point that they agree with Mr. Herskovitz, and now support a co-op boycott against Israel. We won’t know until they let the co-op members know.

       —The Colonel    May. 21 '09 - 11:26PM    #
  114. I think you should let everyone else speak for themselves — it would help your cause.

       —angry coop member    May. 22 '09 - 12:43AM    #
  115. In re. Jeff McCabe and SELMA breakfasts, take a look at this short video produced for Concentrate.

       —Matt Hampel    May. 22 '09 - 01:25AM    #
  116. Thanks for the video link, Matt.

    Regarding the “deadline extensions” have these, to anyone’s knowledge, occurred in prior board elections when only enough candidates filed to fill vacancies? It seems if Charles and Henry may have been singled out for these “extensions” there may be a political motive for these recent board amendments to the initially promugated deadlines.

    Assuming that Kanner and McCabe did file late anyway, I believe it would be ludicrous for the Board to retoactively grant them another deadline extension to the detriment of those who had the prudence to timely file for the vacancy.

    I also note there is nothing in the by-laws to specifically allow extensions. To give an interpretation to the by-laws to give the Board unbridled power to do so without any good cause invites the potential for abuses.

       —Mark Koroi    May. 22 '09 - 02:08AM    #
  117. I also thank Matt for the video. I do not know if Mr. McCabe has articulated his position on Mr. Herskovitz’s proposal for boycotting Israeli products at the co-op.

    There is only one video I know of that specifically addresses the boycott issue, at the co-op itself.


    Video articulating reasons against boycott of Israeli goods at the People’s Food Co-op

    We know that 50% of the Co-op candidates do, in fact, support boycotting Israeli products, due to concern over human rights abuses in Palestine.

    We will have to wait for Mr. McCabe and Mrs. Kanner to state their positions on boycott, for the record.

       —The Colonel    May. 22 '09 - 02:25AM    #
  118. Whoa! That was some video! Do 50% of the candidates really support a boycott against Israel?

       —Nikos Kazantzakis    May. 22 '09 - 03:17AM    #
  119. Here’s a thought — let’s talk about some other issues. Wasn’t the coop thinking about expanding to Liberty Lofts? What ever happened with that? What are the candidates’ position on that?
    I personally thing something ought to be done about the customer service or lack thereof — half the time I go in the cashiers don’t even ask me if I want a bag for my groceries.
    And another thing, why does the ceiling by the hot bar leak every time it rains? That can’t be sanitary.

       —angry coop member    May. 22 '09 - 04:15AM    #
  120. Linda Diane Feldt previously responded to one of my questions regarding Liberty Lofts. She indicated that the proposed Liberty Lofts expansion was currently being shelved at least temporarily by the Board due the economic downturn.

       —Mark Koroi    May. 22 '09 - 04:32AM    #
  121. Re: #110

    So “The Colonel” is menacing Mike, threatening to take away all of his possessions! That’s known as theft or attempted theft, at the very least a misdemeanor and quite possibly a felony. You don’t even know what libel is, Herr/Frau/Fraülein Colonel:

    1) A false and malicious published statement that damages somebody’s reputation. Libel can include pictures and any other representations that have public or permanent form.
    2) The making of false and damaging statements about somebody.

    Here’s my remark in #108: “These one-sided demands for scrutinizing only products originating from Israel are clear evidence of the insidious, racist, antisemitic nature of the BIGots’ campaign.” Is a campaign waged solely against the products of a country whose major distinction is that it is a Jewish nation nothing but antisemitism? You bet it is! Nothing false and damaging there. The campaign itself was what was false and damaging. Why not have the campaign sue me if its “sacred reputation” was ruined?

    Are the public statements calling people like me and Israelis “racists,” “murderers,” “Nazis,” etc. not clear examples of libel? Or hateful, screaming signs waved in the faces of worshippers calling them similar names on their holiest days? On this blog, I and others have been called such things as mentioned in the preceding two sentences as well as a “narcissistic psychopath” and worse. Tell me, then, who’s libeling whom? It’s a clear indication that your insidious, hate-fueled campaign is on very thin ice that you have to resort to name-calling and threatening people who disagree with you. Really, you should be deeply ashamed of yourself, but I doubt you have enough conscience to ever allow such an emotion to begin to enter your extremely narrow frame of reference.

    Here’s what I said that explicitly named anyone (also in #108):

    “The unwillingness to accept the very recent outcome of a fair and democratic election and the constant loud and aggressive demands that there be do-overs until the BIGots’ desired result is achieved are just what one would expect from Herskovitz, Loucks, Smith, Coleman, Kinnucan, and The Colonel and other dictators like them.”

    When one tries everything possible to deny and overthrow the will of the voters in a fair and democratic election; when one refuses to absolutely abide by that popular decision; when one continues again and again to try impose one’s will and does so in a very aggressive and menacing manner—even though it has been soundly rejected—on an unwilling group, is that not a form of dictatorship? Calling a spade a spade is not libel; it’s keen observation.

    “How many times do they have to be told the obvious: their antisemitic referendum was soundly defeated less than two years ago by the overwhelming majority of eligible members who made the effort to vote, something that has been pointed out here countless times but is continually ignored by Loucks, The Colonel, Kinnucan, Smith, Herskovitz, et al?”

    And a referendum that singles out boycotting specifically the merchandise of a Jewish country while giving praise and a big free pass to that country’s sworn and violent enemies is certainly an antisemitic tool. If the referendum’s reputation was ruined, let it take me to court! Actually the voters killed it, so the career-and-reputation damaged referendum ought to file a suit against the members of the PFC because they damaged its “reputation” and killed its “career!” And, by every word the people I mention, pen and shout here and elsewhere, they do indeed completely ignore the results of the election that defeated the BIGot resolution. So, how is stating a simple and true observation “libel?” Here again, your gratuitous attacks are a sign of how very weak, how unstable, how shallow, how unjust your cause is.

    Quoth “The Colonel;” “Co-op voters are the final authority. On one side is Mr. Herskovitz, a Board candidate who honestly and forthrightly defends a human rights boycott against Israel, citing its killings of thousands of Palestinians.”

    When has harassing synagogue worshipers and attempting to hijack every event in Ann Arbor defended a single person; when has it helped anyone? It doesn’t even advance your dubious cause, only creates bad will, and helps raise enormous amounts of money for Israel right here in Ann Arbor alone, surely the exact opposite of what you desire. And, that’s only your opinion, Mr. or Ms. The C, as to who killed whom and whether the killing might not have had some cause, some extreme and violent provocation, originating with your “innocents” firing thousands of rockets at civilians in Israel for years on end. I know we’ll never agree on this, but what is “honest” or “forthright” about one-sided targeting, i.e. Jews worshipping on their holy days in a house of prayer, or singling out Jewish products for a boycott? In case you are blind to history, too, the Nazis did the very same things in the 1930s and then a whole lot worse—incomparably worse—from 1938-1945. How have any of your ugly, provocative, hate-filled signs speciously calling Israelis and their supporters “Nazis” helped anyone or saved a single life?

    As I’ve accurately stated, you and others in your group are champions at projecting. My few simple, honestly stated observations are disingenuously labeled “a string of unsavory personal libels” and “a mountain of personal libels.” What a malevolent bunch of rot from which to try to hide the emaciated quality of your campaign.

    I totally agree with angry coop member (#121) that we need to discuss other issues, but some people with an incredible obsession about placing an embargo on the goods of a single country in the world, just won’t ever let go of it, just can’t accept what the PFC members said resoundingly, “we don’t want your stupid boycott!”

    What it really all boils down to is this: two unfit candidates with nothing but their hatred for Israel and its products and ignorance of food co-ops on one side of the ballot, that would be Messieurs Herskovitz and Loucks, versus two strong, highly qualified candidates with food cooperative experience and know-how and a positive agenda that meshes well with the PFC.

    Really an absolute no-brainer: vote Kanner and McCabe to move the Co-op forward.

       —Mike    May. 22 '09 - 06:33AM    #
  122. the colonel ( i suspect a fake name for a local hate website poster
    whose name sounds like’shmichelle shminuccan’…this to avoid’libel’charges from the ace lawyers she’s always citing) says that 50% of the coop members support her inane boycott…if that’s true, sign me up for a load of HILLERS stock…

       —clara    May. 22 '09 - 03:36PM    #
  123. If nothing else, the length and vitriol of this discussion, largely on subjects unrelated to running a community-owned BUSINESS, underscores why PFC can’t afford directors whose primary concern is to inject their single-issue agenda into every possible venue and decision.

       —Joel Goldberg    May. 22 '09 - 10:22PM    #
  124. Re: #118

    PFC has had trouble for years finding any or enough candidates for board positions by the first deadline for candidacy submissions. As stated before, last year one candidate for two positions submitted on time, this year two for two, but in previous years it is been none at times. Two years ago one candidate signed up on time for three slots, the deadline was extended, and the board went out and recruited, resulting in nine candidates, and a successful election.

    “I believe it would be ludicrous for the Board to retoactively grant them another deadline extension” – I don’t know whether you’re rejecting my earlier explanation about this, or didn’t catch it. Two candidates for two positions didn’t work for the board – OK, extend deadline – still two candidates for two positions – extend again – now four candidates, OK to hold an election. Not that I’m acknowledging that the first extension didn’t do the trick – I don’t know for a fact, but it doesn’t matter.

    “I also note there is nothing in the by-laws to specifically allow extensions. To give an interpretation to the by-laws to give the Board unbridled power to do so without any good cause invites the potential for abuses.”

    If the board abuses power, they can be recalled. There isn’t anything in the bylaws that prohibits the board extending elections, either. Due diligence requires the board to act in a fiscally responsible manner – and re-doing an election isn’t responsible if there is a simple remedy (extending deadlines for candidates).

    The board is making it a priority in the coming year to address the entire process of recruiting candidates and holding elections, to avoid there ever being a question of legitimacy to the elections again.

       —Peter Schermerhorn    May. 23 '09 - 12:08AM    #
  125. After the deadline passed, who recruited Mrs. Kanner? Who recruited Mr. McCabe?

    What emails have been sent to the membership of local supporters of Israel, expressing alarm that Mr. Herskovitz was a candidate, running on a platform favoring boycott against Israel?

    The last time a boycott supporter ran for office, some mass emails were sent through a local religious institution’s membership, urging members to defeat the candidate who supported boycott against Israel.

    Now would be a good time to reveal those emails.

       —The Colonel    May. 23 '09 - 12:43AM    #
  126. Pete,

    The problem is that the board appears to have allowed people to file as candidates after the extended date had passed. Also, the names of the people who had filed was not publicized the day after the extended deadline. If more time was needed, the board should have extended again with a public announcement which would have allowed all stakeholders time to recruit candidates. The way things work now, the board can turn off nomination and then nominate from favored stakeholder groups after the deadline has passed. This is not fair to all members and Kanner and McCabe should resign as far as I am concerned.
       —Charles Loucks, Board Candidate    May. 23 '09 - 01:46AM    #
  127. Re Post #129: I’ll second that, Chuck.

    But the Board will just create another deadline extension to ensure somebody capable of beating you will be recruited – and make sure two of them are on the ballot – so that another Huron Valley Greens member will not be elected.

    Ironically, if the deadlines had not been extended, nobody would have noticed or cared and you and Henry would be on the Board, before the uproar over being on the Board would have spread in certain circles.

       —Mark Koroi    May. 23 '09 - 02:39AM    #
  128. the deadline extension was not unprecedented, according to the board member. therefore, you’re paranoid.
    religious institutions have every right to mobilize to defeat a board member nominee. your own religious institution could have done the same, but apparently wasn’t as effective. sour grapes? conspiracy theory?
    but my previous question was serious — can anything be done about the customer service at the coop? I guess the board is not supposed to be involved in everyday operations, but if the coop wants to compete with whole foods and arbor farms, it needs to step up the customer service.

       —angry coop member    May. 23 '09 - 02:56AM    #
  129. If fading memory serves correct, the co-op also extended the deadline for board candidates at times in the somewhat distant past, for the purpose of trying to recruit at least one more candidate than the number of openings up for vote. During that earlier era, as my flickering brain cells tell me, there was no internal controversy rising to the level of a contested board election. Instead, the issue confronting the board was sheer membership apathy. So, the same deadline extension practice was apparently used previously, though now it’s being applied under very different, highly-contentious conditions. This year I don’t think it can be carried out in a way that’s “candidate-neutral,” as before.

       —yaab    May. 23 '09 - 03:39AM    #
  130. Well…. I’ll take the bait (big heaping helpfuls of it coming from all sides) and wade into this one, for the moment anyway. I dislike issues and situations being defined entirely in black and white, so often the case within this thread and elsewhere. On the other hand, just can’t get enough of all those complicated gray areas in life that seem to spread out everywhere.

    The 90-year-old Mideast crisis — the genesis for a recent referendum and a contested election this month at a small co-op food store in Michigan — is no different. Plenty of gray sky there, too. Even though I feel that the government of Israel, especially as it is the reigning local military power of the region, needs to do a whole lot of cleaning up in regard to its act. In fact, it would be quite nice if every one the governing entities in the greater Mideast region would experiment much more deeply with concepts of democracy, multicultural tolerance and economic justice. Then, depending upon how well this works out, we could try doing the same thing over here in corporate North America.

    As a weekend lesson in highlighting the ever-so-gray complexity of Middle East politics, below are links for last week’s column by Uri Avnery, a resident of Israel/Palestine since the early 1930s. A one-time youth member in the Irgun armed group, later a member of the Knesset, today he is a very senior peace activist. Both links lead to the same article content, though there’s a choice in website context so as to superficially accommodate different political persuasions.

    I admit to not having strong feelings one way or the other about the co-op selling a few specific Israeli items in small quantities, such as couscous (as much as I hope that these do not originate from West Bank “settlements”). Maybe one alternative to an Israeli product boycott would be for the co-op to cultivate stronger public relationships and cultural exchanges with the metro Detroit Arab community. For starters, the co-op could hire someone from that community with catering skills to supply a multi-course traditional dinner for its annual meeting.

    The level of intensity that’s gone into this thread in just under ten days is impressive. Thinking again in terms of the larger issues involved, I sit here and daydream that, as active citizens and voters, we might one day be willing to channel similar abundant energy into building nationwide campaigns. For example, it would warm my heart to no end if someday Congress could be prodded to deliver whopping big cuts in U.S. “foreign aid” going to both Israel and Egypt (the two biggest long-term recipients), not to mention Jordan. Then use the considerable savings as seed money to assist something genuinely useful, like single-payer national health care. Or free local, organic school lunches. We shouldn’t let failing mega-banks and foreign armies keep our federal budget for themselves. Let’s get in on the fun, too.

       —yet another aging boomer    May. 23 '09 - 04:05AM    #
  131. Let’s not lose our focus through the name-calling evident on this thread. The issue is whether the Co-op will support a legitimate and peaceful boycott of a country that is committed to the use of force to attain its goals of a Jewish supremacist state in Palestine (think: White supremacist South Africa).

    And let’s also be clear that we are not singling out Israel; rather, it does a fine job of singling itself out. What other country uses prohibited weapons financed by OUR tax dollars to burn the skin off Palestinian children?

    What other country is in violation of over 70 UN resolutions? Has committed ethnic cleansing for over 61 years? Has attacked an American ship in open waters, killing 34 US sailors and has gotten away with it? Has just completed the Hannukah Massacre, which – like shooting fish in a barrel with White Phosphorus – killed 1400 Palestinians?

    Members of our People’s Food Co-op should be proud to say “NO” to such a state, and groups like the Boycott Israel Group, should re-present their plans to rid the shelves of Israeli goods, and keep them off. After May 31, the Board will have a member that will lend a sympathetic ear to the pleas of a terribly abused and distraught Palestinian population.

    Sooner or later, the US will join the rest of the world, that part of the world unaffected by the bias in US media, in its commitment to isolate Israel. Our PFC has the opportunity to take the lead in this movement, and I urge PFC members to support the platforms of myself and Chuck Loucks

       —Henry Herskovitz    May. 23 '09 - 06:37AM    #
  132. Chuck, Mark – I just don’t know the circumstances definitively around Kanner and McCabe’s filings – whether they made it “before the end of the extension” or not. I do maintain that, with the logic of needing enough candidates to make it a viable election, the board would (and possibly did) publicly extend deadlines ad nauseum until at least three candidates were had. As has been done in the past, with other (less contentious) elections.

    I for one would not like to ‘win’ a seat on any level simply because I was unopposed, but on the basis of my presentation of ideas of merit.

       —Peter Schermerhorn    May. 23 '09 - 06:49AM    #
  133. Henry, why do you keep equating products made in Israel with the policies of the Israeli government? I still ask that you show us you’ve done your homework on the products the co-op stocks.

       —Matt Hampel    May. 23 '09 - 07:32AM    #
  134. Matt, again I don’t mean to be ignoring you or your question. You are right in your own sense that I have not studied the products, nor its exact source in Occupied Palestine. I consider, as did David Ben Gurion, that ALL of Palestine is occupied. He actually admitted to having “stolen” the country.

    But when an oppressed people like the Palestinians have requested broad boycotts against products made in Israel, I feel a need to respond by honoring their call.

    Please consider the boycott of Germany in 1933, initiated by the world Jewish community in an attempt to control the newly elected National Socialist government. This was a sophisticated, world-wide boycott, that is detailed in “The Transfer Agreement” by Edwin Black. There was no examination of the products like the one you suggest. If it was made in Germany, that was good enough for the Jews to call upon their fellow men (and women!) to boycott.

    Zionism is a colonial, settler project, based on a racism that even the UN General Assembly recognizes. The fruition of this ideology is the current state of “israel”. I have rejected this ideology, and my only wish is that my fellow Jews in the peace movement likewise repudiate Zionism. Products made in Israel support – in one way or another – Zionist ideology. It’s all part of the same game.

    So one one hand, I’m not ignoring your persistent requests, but on the other I’m saying what my fellow Jews would have said in 1933: If it’s made in Israel I’m not going to accept its importation into the People’s Food Co-op.

       —Henry Herskovitz    May. 23 '09 - 03:52PM    #
  135. Re Post No.124: “…sign me up for a load of HILLERS stock”

    The guiding force of the Hiller’s boycott was Larry Hochman, a retired physics professor and lawyer who passed away recently due to cancer.

    Larry’s death was reported in the Michigan Bar Journal this month along with that of Pistons owner William Davidson and retired Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Harry Dingeman,Jr.

    Larry was born in 1929 and received his initial training as a physicist. He worked on a kibbutz in Israel in the early 1950s. He earned a law degree from Detroit College of Law in the 1970s and served of counsel in civil rights law at the law firm of Abdeen Jabara, the former executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

    Larry associated with such prominent figures as former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and psychologist Noam Chomsky on civil rights issues. He was revered in the Metro Detroit Palestinian- American community for his commitment to civil rights matters.

    Henry Herskovitz carries on the fine tradition of Larry Hochman in seeking social justice in Palestine. Both men should be congratulated on their fine work.

    Henry’s candidacy is largely symbolic. I can compare it to Irish Republican Army hunger striker Bobby Sands who was elected to the British House of Commons in 1981 while jailed in the Maze Prison. Henry’s knowledge of food is mostly irrelevant, it is his advocacy of social justice which warrants his election to the PFC board.

    This PFC election is not of hatred but of dialogue. As Joan Lowenstein confirmed on the 2007 ArborUpdate thread relating to the PFC boycott, she engaged Huron Valley Greens Co-Chairperson Aimee Smith in an impromptu debate in front of the People’s Food Co-op and the two even posed for a photograph. Controversy and debate is healthy on any issue and both Lowenstein and Smith are examples of this.

    I welcome the debate Messrs. Loucks and Herskovitz have brought to the People’s Food Co-op Board election.

       —Kerry D.    May. 23 '09 - 07:42PM    #
  136. Henry, “in one way or another”? You’re asking us to put you on the board of our coop during an economic depression on a single, non-food-related issue, and you can’t even articulate a direct correlation between that issue and the goods sold at the coop? You’re not at least going to argue that the couscous or whatever benefits the Israeli government in any specific way? Just “in one way or another”? And your friend Kerry admits that your candidacy is largely symbolic – do you agree?
    Henry, try again, please tell us what is so gosh-darn bad about the Israeli couscous that we should elect a single-issue, disruptive presence like yourself to govern our coop. Does our couscous revenue go toward a fence, skin-burning weapons, Uzis, what? Comparing current Palestinians to Jews in 1930s Germany may be fun for you and provocative for some, but it’s not earning you my vote. I’d rather hear how you feel about (presumably non-colonialist) expansion of the coop, or how the store can better compete with Whole Foods or Arbor Farms.

       —angry coop member    May. 23 '09 - 10:51PM    #
  137. The Unauthorized but Highly Instructive Biography of Henry Herskovitz and His Cynical Campaign

    Chapter 1:

    The candidate with no program but his unabashed hatred for the one country in the Middle East that is not only a paragon of justice, democracy, and human rights, especially when compared to all the other countries in the region, is at it again with his pseudo-moralistic, malevolent political nonsense. Henry Herskovitz is running for a seat on the board of directors of the People’s Food Co-op with a one-plank platform that has nothing whatever to do with the Co-op (unless an unbridled desire to tear it apart is what he sees as relevant). He wants nothing more than to see the shelves of the PFC emptied of the less than one dozen items it now carries that are produced in Israel.

    His reasoning? That somehow the State of Israel is the only country that commits such egregious “crimes” on this planet that it is a government, a nation, a people that should be overhauled, boycotted, ostracized, and—in short—be made extinct. Therefore, according to Herskovite thinking (sorry for the oxymoron), even though Israel far outshines the pseudo-country of Hamas-istan, which even murders wounded Fatah rivals in Gaza hospitals—more than one of whom got that way because of what the “browbeaten” Hamas Mafioso did to them (not that Fatah are angels, by any stretch of the imagination, either)—and then blamed the Israelis, his Hamasniks are “innocent victims.”

    As a measure of how such cynical rhetoric on the part of Mr. Herskovitz, his running mate Charles Loucks, and their tiny group of supporters parallels the actions and media blitz of these “gallant” Hamas fighters, let’s look at some facts: Hamas launches its weapons from heavily-populated residential neighborhoods and then cries “bloody murder” and “foul” when this tactic results in the deaths of hundreds of civilians it supposedly champions. Then, they add the deaths of their Fatah foes that they themselves kill either on the streets or in hospitals to inflate the number of deaths and casualties in the recent winter month war that they themselves perpetrated. Israel is also certainly a paradigm of freedom and constitutional rights when compared with hugely corrupt Fatah-istan in the West Bank, yet Herskovitz finds the Israelis guilty of “unparalleled criminal acts.”

    Herskovitz is such a “shining example” of “peace, justice, and acceptance” that he and his gang of kowtowing hot air blowers cannot even tolerate the slightest dissension in their own ranks. Look no further than his poison pen website at and where HH and his cowardly storm troopers of the misused and abused phrase lustily insult one of their own from the anti-Israel Not In My Name group who—in a rare display of reflection from one in this camp—calls Herskovitz out for what he is—a pathetic, self-serving egotist who thinks he’s the local edition of a rock star for leading this rubbish “protest” in reference to his tiny band of “brave” synagogue stalkers with whom he parades and struts around every Saturday in front of Ann Arbor’s Beth Israel Congregation. The gadfly in the anti-Israel ointment who dared confront unchallenged Herskovite dogma earned his pariah status:

    1) by daring to say that Zionists actually have done some good—a major no-no from anyone in the anti-Israel movement. This very modest and fairly reasonable form of dissent from the Herskovite norm was greeted with howls of derision and labeled as “hysteria” and “incoherence.” In an ad hominem attack, this voice of objection was called “absolutely nuts” as if the Herskovites are exemplars of reason, sane thinking, and divine truth.

    2) by saying flat out that the continued harassment (for more than five years now) of Ann Arbor Jews going to pray in their house of worship is “in the worst tradition of political incompetence and ego-centric behavior,” a “disgusting tactic,” “politically and tactically disastrous,” and “ruinous behavior.” And, this rare voice of understanding—coming from the anti-Israel camp itself—continued, “Let us not elevate such childish and obdurate adventurism to the level of Jewish prophecy.” Herskovitz then says that this mild dissenter needed to be “reeled in.” Read: made to shut up.

    Then the mainstream of this fringe group piles on by insisting that “attacks against [the synagogue stalking] seem ill-mannered and small-minded.” Hmm, haven’t I pointed out more than once that the Herskovites—besides being burdened with self righteous, self-serving, hypocritical chutzpah, are talented to a fault at projecting? For what could be more classless and ill-conceived than disrupting the holiest religious days of congregants while baiting them by standing—in poses reminiscent of 1930s brownshirts with the most vitriolic signs that accuse said worshipers of unspeakable crimes in a tone so hyperbolic that it only reflects the singular grandstanding, ignorance, bigotry, hatred, and antisemitism of the sign bearers? When they stand before a house of worship with their oversized placards of hatred, they only shame themselves and draw ridicule upon their own heads, not the congregants inside. The latter, for better or worse, are transformed into stoic heroes for having to put up with such unprovoked abuse.

    3) by daring to challenge the myopic world view of the synagogue stalkers and correctly indicating that Herskovitz “has made himself unwelcome at events presented by others in the progressive community” and that his actions “have isolated Jewish Witness[es] for Peace [Herskovitz’s cynically named group] from the rest of the progressive community, making it less likely that anyone will work with them.”

    Indeed, Herskovitz is seen as an egomaniacal clown running from synagogue to Federal Building to City Council to the Co-op to Jewish cultural events and back like a headless chicken with only one message to squawk and who is unwanted virtually everywhere except by the HV “Greens” and within his small band of fellow travelers.

    Most telling for someone who states that he is a progressive, the “rebel” calls the siege of the synagogue “dangerous, counter-productive, and reactionary.” This is actually ironic in that this person from the anti-Israel NIMN may not realize that his depiction essentially reveals that Herskovitz’s unconditional support for Hamas and other rabidly and violently antisemitic terrorist groups, aligns him with some of the most medieval, repressive, murderous, misogynistic, homophobic, autocratic, theocratic, fascistic, right wing thugs in the Middle East.

    In his description above, the dissenting writer of NIMN hits a home run without even knowing how powerful and accurate a swing he took. He makes it back-to-back with this comment: “In total, the entire [Herskovitz synagogue picketing] project is not simply unhelpful to the cause, it is detrimental. And not a single Palestinian or Israeli is better off because of it.” Amen to that! This can easily be extended to all of Mr. H’s activities. Even believers in his cause of exposure of so-called “cruelty” and “foul play” by the Israelis—yes, some Israelis have done some very bad things, but these truly pale in comparison to what their neighbors and many others do. In short, Herskovitz’s jaundiced and blinkered view is always delivered completely out of context and without including the incredible complexity of the situation, so that even natural allies of his cannot abide him and avoid him as one of the worst symbols for his cause.

    4) and by exposing the Herskovitz party line as “pompous, self-righteous nonsense.” In reference to the justified resentment of the Beth Israel and broader Ann Arbor community to Herskovitz’s loathsome behavior in front of the synagogue, the dissenter within the anti-Israel camp really hones in why what HH does is so repugnant to decent, sane people: “It is more likely that their anger arises from the fact that Henry is telling them, and the general population of Ann Arbor, that each of them is guilty of crimes that they have not committed, and, even more condescendingly, that they should be ashamed of themselves…as if this self-righteous, self-proclaimed good Jew has the right to tell them what they are to be proud of and not proud of. It is one thing,” the challenger goes on, “to enter a congregation and, as a member of it, try to change the consciousness and perspectives of the co-congregants. It is another thing entirely to act like a pompous ass and, from the outside, tell everyone in the world how bad and shameful these people are.” And, finally, “I cannot even find the words to express my utter disgust.”

    Remember, this language comes not from a defender of Israel, not from a Zionist, but someone who shares Henry’s concept that Israel is a wayward country. It’s certainly revealing of how truly extreme and outside the margins Herskovitz and his followers—including Charles Loucks—are when even those who share some of his basic attitude as far as Israel is concerned, recoil from his nasty, egotistical, pompous, loutish, and shortsighted mode of operation and engagement!

    And, folks, it is this same self-righteous, arrogant pseudo moralist that is once again attempting to force his unwanted program of Jew-baiting, divisiveness, hatred for all things Israeli and for all who do not share his views right down to the last crossed t, that is not wanted or needed by the People’s Food Co-op. No matter how many times his and Loucks’s unholy agenda is rejected by the Co-op’s members, they keep trying to shove it down everyone’s throat. The PFC and the majority of rational people see through it. Herskovitz and Loucks have no other program, nothing positive to offer the Co-op. Let’s gently but unambiguously show them the door once again as they keep crawling back in even though they have been bounced out on their butts numerous times.

    Zach G. has it right, Herskovitz, Loucks, et al are great at setting up straw men, but completely incapable of presenting genuine irrefutable evidence to back up their wildly tedious claims and cynical, specious comparisons.

    Chapter 2:

    Herskovitz disingenuously cries (#133): “Let’s not lose our focus through the name-calling evident on this thread” and then immediately calls Israel “a Jewish supremacist state in Palestine.” If that’s not name-calling and antisemitism—wanting to deny the right to the Jews to have their own state, something he not only thinks is fine for the Palestinians, but he would like to have “Palestine” supplant the Jews’ right to self-determination in the land that is already lawfully theirs—who knows what is? (I’m not talking about the disputed [“occupied”] territories; that’s a whole other, though related matter). And, if you want to see some A-1 prime illustrations of mockery, look at the examples cited above from Herskovitz’s own unkosher website of someone who is essentially allied with him! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

    Herskovitz also says that he is not singling out Israel—for a boycott and heavy-handed expulsion by him and his cohorts—which is an outright lie (another of his few, but well-honed talents); he is never troubled by the actions of any other country or sect—countless ones which commit the most flagrant and heinous violations of human rights, many of them run by Muslims and/or Arabs. This includes the dysfunctional Palestinian Authority and their bloodthirsty opponents in Hamas who—in Henry’s restricted view—can never do any wrong unless it’s their even once failing to listen to his pompous pontifications.

    To the Herskovites, it is Israel and Israel alone that is responsible for all the evil, oppression, and cruelty in the world and—if somehow, heaven forbid—Israel were to cease to exist, there would be Eden on Earth. Henry Herskovitz has no discernible life outside of his professional Israel—and by extension—Jew bashing and baiting. One must suppose, therefore, that he should be extremely grateful for Israel’s existence as otherwise, what else would he do? What else gives so much meaning to his life as (his futile attempts at) trying to eliminate Israel?

    Herskovitz rants and raves about what he calls violations by Israel, never once having his conscience troubled by people who teach their children that Jews are “apes” and “pigs,” inculcating them with extreme hatred—not just of Israel—but of Jews from the earliest age at home, in school, and in the media. Herskovitz is not in the least bothered by a culture of death that makes it laudable for parents to send their kids off to blow themselves up while killing and brutally maiming as many innocent civilians as they can (planting nails and other extremely sharp objects in the bombs they detonate to inflict maximum harm to their victims, even those who somehow survive) with promises of wonderful “rewards” in the hereafter after they have “martyred” themselves. If he honestly cared about Palestinians as human beings, he would try to find ways of disabusing therm of the notion that there’s something noble in teaching one’s children to hate and glorifying “martyrdom.”

    If Mr. Herskovitz really was pro-Palestinian and not just venomously anti-Israel, he would work with humanitarian groups to get food and provisions—and I don’t mean missiles, rockets, bombs, and ammunition—into the hands of the Palestinian people and not their psychopathic Hamas overlords and corrupt Fatah leaders. Herskovitz would demonstrate what the positive aspects of the culture he professes to love are. It is crystal clear that hatred of Israel, not love for Palestinians, is his driving motive. This is Henry Herskovitz in a nutshell (no pun intended)!

    He’s not apparently troubled that the Muslims of Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Taliban, and others not only want to kill Israelis and Jews and Christians, Hindus, Baha’is, and other infidels, too, in as great a number as they can, but, on a daily basis enslave, rape, torture, decapitate, stone, blow up, and otherwise brutalize others of their own faith from Darfur to Iraq to Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan to Pakistan. No call to boycott a single product from any of those countries and cultures. No singling out of the world’s only Jewish state? Right, and I’m the Prince of Wales! Such bald faced hypocrisy!

    King Henry sticks out his bloated chest and huffs: “Members of our People’s Food Co-op should be proud to say ‘NO’ to such a state, and groups like the Boycott Israel Group, should re-present their plans to rid the shelves of Israeli goods, and keep them off. After May 31, the Board will have a member that will lend a sympathetic ear to the pleas of a terribly abused and distraught Palestinian population.”

    Members of the PFC would have nothing but cowardly shame to live with if a single one of the very few Israeli products on its shelves was removed except by purchase, especially since Chinese and African and other goods aren’t even on Herskovitz’s radar. What the PFC can be proud of is that it rejected the BIGots’ shortsighted and racist boycott call less than two years ago—just as they warded off HH’s ally Loucks when he ran his first misleading campaign for a seat on the board shortly after his referendum was crushed—and would certainly do the same again and again no matter how often it rears its very ugly head.

    Amazing how Herskovitz can be so cocksure of winning when he, as even a detractor from his anti-Israel camp who was cited above from the Herskovitz website, said, all progressive (I would add all balanced) people have excommunicated him and his way of thinking long ago. I remember George W. Bush also being so sure of “victory” in 2000. Only by having rigged this election, as Bush’s crew did to weasel his way into the White House then, could Mr. Herskovitz have such confidence in the electorate of a community that unconditionally rejects him. It is with just cause that he is universally reviled in Ann Arbor and anywhere—Chicago, e.g.—where his exploits are known.

    Chapter 3:

    The vilest and clearest demonstration of Herskovitz’s pathological,manipulative expression (see his post # 136) of his misreading and distortion of history is his mocking and false comparison of modern day, democratic Israel with history’s—by a huge long shot—most murderous, regime, Nazi Germany. Such comparisons are misleading, totally false, and easily refuted by any honest reading of history. The obvious intent of such spurious equations is clearly to try to de-legitimize a lawful state.

    The most telltale sign is this sentence where—while possibly a slip, it is, at best, a revealing Freudian slip; at worst, a manifestation of Herskovitz’s own deep-seated Judeophobia and self-loathing. He states, “I’m saying what my fellow Jews would have said in 1933: If it’s made in Israel. I’m not going to accept its importation into the People’s Food Co-op.” First of all, what unmitigated gall to try to delude anyone into thinking that he actually speaks not only for his “fellow” Jews, but for the Jews of that very dark period two decades or so before he was even born!

    And, excuse me? There was a state called Israel in 1933? And the People’s Food Co-op, too? Had Mr. Herskovitz been around in 1933, it wouldn’t be far-fetched, based on his current philosophy, to conceive that he would be all in favor of keeping the doors of Palestine (and Israel, if it had been a sovereign state at the time) shut tight against Jews who desperately needed a safe haven between 1933 and 1945 (really until 1948). The point, anyway, slip or not, is that it is the most despicable form of Jew-baiting to equate the Jewish state in any way, shape, or manner with the absolutely brutal, barbaric, totalitarian regime that nearly annihilated half the world’s Jews during World War II. If you can’t come up with a reasonable, more accurate comparison, Mr. Herskovitz, don’t try, because this straw man alone utterly debunks any of your claims against Israel.

    Herskovitz was once quoted in the Ann Arbor Observer as lamenting that half of his family won’t even talk to him. This begs the question, what the heck is wrong with the other half?!


    Votes for Rebecca Kanner and Jeff McCabe are the only votes in this election that make sense, not only when compared with the appalling alternative, but because of the four candidates for the PFC board of directors, only they are qualified for those positions.

       —Mike    May. 25 '09 - 02:18AM    #
  138. Re Post#140: Mike, have you viewed the YouTube videos referenced at Posts #117 and #119?

    If so, do you have any comments on those videos?

    Have you ever met or spoken to Mr. Herskovitz before?

    Do you have any position on thr Hiller’s boycott referenced at Posts #124 and #137?

    I would note that you have just likely broke the record for the longest post Arbor Update has ever received.

       —Mark Koroi    May. 25 '09 - 06:14AM    #
  139. You may be more interested in this video:

    Boycott Israel at Whole Foods Market

    The video description says:

    “Why does Whole Foods Market sell Israeli Couscous— even as Israel massacres and starves Gaza?

    “Ask them to join the humanitarian boycott against all Israeli goods.”

       —The Colonel    May. 26 '09 - 12:07AM    #
  140. I thought Henry was going to host cooking classes at Whole Foods?

       —Matt Hampel    May. 26 '09 - 06:31AM    #
  141. Zach, thank you; you’re too kind (#143). I enjoy reading your passionate and hard-hitting, yet very balanced and sane posts. Keep ‘em coming.

    Re #141: Mark, you must be setting records for the most cross-examining questions.

    Action at Hiller’s? Not germane to this discussion, which is supposed to be on the People’s Food Co-op elections, which was hijacked as early as post #3 and constantly taken off the topic by not only the tandem anti-Israel candidates, i.e., Herskovitz and Loucks, but by a small crew of their supporters.

    But, briefly regarding Hiller’s, some of their recent actions and campaigns are almost Co-op-like and unusual for a large supermarket. They emphasize buying from local, Michigan-based companies, which, they themselves are, of course. They have taken the rather atypical decision to not carry any tobacco products at their stores; this bold move certainly hurts their profits, but it is a sound one based on health considerations. Finally, they carry a fine line of Israeli products, far more than the PFC—as do a number of chains in the area: Whole Foods, Kroger, Meijer, and Busch’s, e.g., so I find myself going there to buy these great items. And, by the way, Hiller’s doesn’t come close to carrying the number of goods from Israel as I’ve seen in some SE Michigan Arab stores, such as a couple I’ve visited in Farmington Hills, where in one they even are, by far, the predominant type of product. And, if you’re curious about the picketing that took place near Arborland a few years ago, it seemed to really boost Hiller’s business.

    Re #142: The Colonel, one of the strongest supporters of Henry Herskovitz and his monomaniacal malady of boycott-Israel-itis, calls for an embargo on Whole Foods, the very same place where candidate Herskovitz wants the Co-op (#50) to help him become a vegetarian (I guess he only has will power for picketing, pontificating, and sign-toting, but not to wean himself off of meat) by sponsoring cooking classes there.

    Do I detect conflict, contradictions, and cross-purposes between members of the all-boycott all-the-time Herskovite/Loucks crew? Matt (#144), also points out this incosnistency in the “let’s take over the Co-op and bend it to our will” gang. Well, if there’s even dissension in their ranks, imagine what further discordance, conflict, and divisiveness we could expect if Herskovitz and Loucks are, heaven forfend, elected to the board.

    Rebecca Kanner and Jeff McCabe will be positive voices and movers for the Co-op during these financially troubling times. Please vote for them and help the PFC advance, not fall apart.

       —Mike    May. 26 '09 - 05:56PM    #
  142. Matt, apologies again … I’m certainly not a cook, never have been. I was trying to say in my post #36, that I, and others like myself, could benefit by such a cooking class. And now that I see that Whole Foods is pushing Israeli products, our Co-op would need to seek another facility to conduct such classes. But back to our focus …

    Co-op members should realize what a complicit part we, as American citizens, play in the continued ethnic cleansing of Palestine: not only do our tax dollars support this violence which is required to maintain a slavery-like status quo, but our Israel-lobby-controlled government also wields the veto club in the Security Council of the United Nations, as Israel’s surrogate in that body.

    With such a misuse of power, it’s really no wonder why Americans are viewed abroad as being part and parcel of Israeli Apartheid. The following is but a sampling of the most recent vetoes by our government which favors a militarized state that practices Apartheid upon the very same population it is required to protect.

    Members of our People’s Food Co-op now have an opportunity to participate in righting these wrongs of the past, and increasing Americans’ prestige abroad, by installing a community activist and current member of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, to our Board. Please cast your votes – deadline is Saturday at closing – for the candidate who is pledged to the boycott of Israeli goods.

    March 1997, S/1997/241
    Vote: 13 in favor, 1 veto (US), 1 abstention.
    The resolution demanded an end to the Israeli construction of the Jabal Abu Ghneim settlement in East Jerusalem, and to all other measures related to settlements in the occupied territories.

    March 2001, S/2001/270
    Vote: 9 in favor, 1 veto (US), 4 abstentions.
    The resolution called for a total and immediate stop of all acts of violence, provocation, and collective punishment, as well as a complete cessation of Israeli settlement activities, and an end of the closures of the occupied territories. The resolution furthermore called for the implementation of the Sharm El-Sheikh agreement, and expressed the Security Council’s willingness to set up mechanisms to protect the Palestinian civilians, including the establishment of a UN observer force.

    December 2001, S/2001/1199
    Vote: 12 in favor, 1 veto (US) 2 abstentions.
    In the resolution, the Security Council condemned all acts of terror, extrajudiciary executions, excessive use of force and destruction of properties, and demanded an end of all acts of violence, destruction and provocation. The resolution called on the parties to resume negotiations, and to implement the recommendations of the Mitchell Report. It also encouraged the establishment of a monitoring apparatus for the above mentioned implementation.

       —Henry Herskovitz    May. 26 '09 - 06:14PM    #
  143. Re #146: “But back to our focus …” Herskovitz means “back to HIS focus!” He just doesn’t get it that his obsession is not shared by the large majority of Co-op members and most anyone else. He’s just totally out of focus and out-of-touch with what the members of the PFC want and need. His disjointed, discordant, disruptive, self-absorbed, single-issue fanaticism, pseudo-moralizing, and obsessiveness are exactly what the Co-op has already rejected and doesn’t want or need. Reject him soundly once again, but even then I guarantee that he won’t take the hint.

       —Mike    May. 26 '09 - 06:27PM    #
  144. Could Mr. Herskovitz be right, when he (and almost 1,000 petitioners) ask the Co-op to boycott Israeli products?

    I think so. Consider that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that Israel did not “go far enough” in its 22-day invasion and massacre of 1400 Palestinians in Gaza earlier this year.

    Consider also that his Foreign Minister has urged that Gaza be nuked, in the same way Japan was nuked.

    Consider finally that the same boycott is spreading to the Whole Food Market:

    Whole Foods Market Sells Israeli Couscous, Faces Boycott Call

    Those are good reasons to vote your conscience for human rights, in the Co-op election. That certainly seems like a vote for Mr. Herskovitz.

       —The Colonel    May. 26 '09 - 07:47PM    #
  145. All of the videos posted by “The Colonel” remind me of the videos created by Blaine Coleman when Joan Lowenstein was running for District Court Judge…Cheap, tacky and rabidly Anti-Semetic.

    I personally can’t wait to see the results of this election….

       —scooter62    May. 26 '09 - 08:09PM    #
  146. It seems that any attempt to discuss the candidates’ actual issues (including the proposed Co-op boycott of Israeli goods) is met by libelous personal accusations of “anti-Semitism.”

    But the voters will decide, whether human rights is something that the Co-op still takes an interest in.

       —The Colonel    May. 26 '09 - 08:13PM    #
  147. Re #149:Scooter62: You omit the 2008 primary election results of that race show that Joan Lowenstein finished in last place about 600 votes beind the third place loser Margaret Connors and about 1200 votes behind Eric Gutenberg, the second place finisher.

    The anti-Lowenstein video you are referring to on YouTube has received over 3420 hits to date.

    It appears that Mr.Coleman’s videos are being reviewed and that some may be taking the position that there are Israeli human rights violations. But then again, the pro-boycott forces did get defeated in a landslide in the 2007 referendum, so the jury is out as to whether Blaine Coleman is truly wielding real political clout in local political circles…………..

       —Mark Koroi    May. 26 '09 - 08:30PM    #
  148. Blaine Coleman’s video was responsible for Lowenstein’s loss? Sure, ok!

       —scooter62    May. 26 '09 - 08:40PM    #
  149. Colonel,
    This afternoon I saw Mr. Herskovits holding a sign with a star of David crossed out in front of the federal building. Yes, we suspect he’s racist. We’re not stupid.
    The shame of this is, I would bet many coop members are sympathetic to the cause Henry says he’s fighting for. If he would do the work to draw a line between the products that the coop carries and human rights abuses in Israel, then put removal of those specific products to a vote, I bet he’d win. Then he could say he’s done some good for Palestinians. But we coop members can use our eyes and our brains, and we see that a person or group using the rhetoric of extremism does not have such pedestrian goals in mind.
    And I’d still like to know how he feels about my issues — possible expansion and customer service/competition.

       —angry coop member    May. 26 '09 - 10:21PM    #
  150. Scooter62: Do you know for sure that Blaine Coleman produced those videos? I was relying on your claim.

    In any event that video may have been a factor since it was viewed by thousands. I know for a fact many in Ann Arbor viewed the Lowenstein video and found it cleverly done.

    It received more YouTube hits than the “Sleeping Judge” video.

       —Mark Koroi    May. 26 '09 - 10:25PM    #
  151. The flag of Israel contains a Star of David. Therefore anyone who disrespects the flag of Israel is “anti-Semetic”?

    Fine; then I suppose a candidate who promises never to disrespect the flag of Israel will have to be found, to stand up for Palestinian human rights.

    But first, that candidate will have to make sure that no Palestinian, no matter how many family members they have lost, will ever be seen disrespecting the flag of Israel. Right?

    And any boycott of Israel must likewise be done without saying the word “Israel”, because that word, biblically, refers to a whole ethnic group. Right?

    But doesn’t that seem like a lot of hurdles to jump over?

    Co-op voters may just skip those steps, and vote for the candidate who is standing up for the people who are being occupied, which is the Palestinians. That candidate is indisputably Mr. Herskovitz, who is campaigning to boycott Israel.

       —The Colonel    May. 26 '09 - 10:40PM    #
  152. “Do you know for sure that Blaine Coleman produced those videos? I was relying on your claim”.

    Mark, do you know for sure that he didn’t? I’m sure he’s reading this blog, why don’t we just wait for him to “pop” up?
    And you “know for a fact that many in Ann Arbor viewed his videoes and found that they were cleverly done”? I’m sure you have your finger on the pulse of what Ann Arborites find clever…especially from Plymouth Township.

    Now, back to the co-op…..

       —scooter62    May. 26 '09 - 10:49PM    #
  153. Mark,
    I just posted a rather lengthy reply apologizing for my snarky post to you, but it disappeared into cyber space. I tried to explain the frustrations many of us that live in A2 feel towards this particular group (which you may be a member of for all I know), but you didn’t warrant my snarky comment and I apologize for that.

       —scooter62    May. 26 '09 - 11:24PM    #
  154. Generally, those who favor human rights action are spoken of as misfits, who simply cannot obey the rules of politeness. That is true, in every important case. For example, Martin Luther King was seen as so subversive that he had to be wiretapped and worse, by the federal government, under Robert Kennedy’s orders.

    Today, there is no such thing as a Palestine human rights activist who is spoken of kindly by the mass media, anywhere in the United States, not even in the small and dying mass media of this small city.

    This is an easy way of rejecting the entire cause of Black voting rights, in the early 1960’s. It is also an easy way of rejecting the entire cause of boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel in 2009, at our own small co-op.

    Is it possible to debate Mr. Herskovitz’s main plank for election, that of boycotting Israel?

       —The Colonel    May. 26 '09 - 11:42PM    #
  155. Re #158: Of all the absurd things spewing forth from the Herskovites, one from The Colonel where s/he dares to compare Herskovitz the pariah and his obsessive desire to eliminate the only Jewish state from the globe to a truly great man, a civil rights leader, a statesman, and a fighter for all human rights, Martin Luther King, Jr., would be laughable if it weren’t coming from people who are so dead serious about everything including themselves.

    By the way, Martin Luther King was no enemy of Israel as are Henry Herskovitz, Aimee Smith, Charles Loucks, Blaine Coleman, The Colonel, and Michelle Kinnucan.

    Since The Colonel was so kind as to bring up Martin Luther King, I’m sure she or he would agree wholeheartedly with this quote from the great civil rights leader:

    “When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism.”

    That Dr. King held this view is corroborated by a long time friend and collaborator of the former, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, (D-Georgia, 5th Congressional District) who has the record—including the physical and emotional scars—to back it up. Rep. Lewis states that the remark cited above was made by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968 in response to a hostile question posed by a student at Harvard some time before King was assassinated.

    More from Rep. Lewis on Dr. King and Israel:

    “On March 25, 1968, less than two weeks before his tragic death, he [King] spoke out with clarity and directness stating, ‘peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality.’”

    “‘I have a Dream’ for Peace in the Middle East: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Special Bond with Israel” by John Lewis; Monday, January 21, 2002 in the San Francisco Chronicle.

    So, The Colonel, if you’re going to try to compare a self-promoting and divisive figure of hate like Mr. Herskovitz with anyone, don’t go slurring the memory of a great fighter for the rights of all, including the Jews to live in peace and security in their own sovereign state, with someone who is full of extremist bile. It is a grave insult to the memory of that great leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. to make such facile and false comparisons. But, sadly, this is so much business as usual for those in the Herskovitz-Loucks camp.

       —Mike    May. 27 '09 - 12:56AM    #
  156. Please recall that Dr. King was insulted just as strongly, in the 1950’s, as Mr. Herskovitz is today. He was insulted and arrested and murdered. After he was safely dead, then he was praised.

    Human rights leaders are only spoken of kindly after they are dead, or after all their teeth have been pulled.

    Again, can the candidates’ positions be discussed? Or is that impossible, as long as Mr. Herskovitz insists on treating Palestinians as full human beings, worthy of their full human rights today?

       —The Colonel    May. 27 '09 - 01:06AM    #
  157. Mike: Did you ever read how Malcom X felt about the Palestine question;you would probably disagree with his positions?

    Have you ever viewed the PBS documentary “People And The Land” and do you think that MLK,Jr. could have known or would have approved of such activities as:

    * color coding license plates based on ethnicity * shooting unarmed civilians * purposefully delaying medical attention for those in ambulances * denying basic guarantees afforded persons under the Geneva Convention and United Nations mandates.

    I do not think so.

    That documentary also did not cover the fact that the Israel Defense Forces has universal conscription for Jewish citizens but requires Arabs who volunteer to be subject to possible segregation in minority units and relegation to menial jobs, just as African-Americans were subect to during World War II. MLK,Jr. was a teenager when President Harry S. Truman signed his executive order in 1948 barring segregation in the U.S. Armed Forces.

    The State of Israel also requires military service of a family member for one of its citizens to claim entitlement to social benefit programs that Americans would take for granted; this way Arab Israeli taxpaying citizens are effectively barred from benefits from social programs they pay into.

    Mike, do you believe that Martin Luther King,Jr. would approve those practices if he had known that they existed?

    This is why I support Henry Herskovitz and Chuck Loucks in their quest for the PFC board seats.

    If they receive one vote apiece I will feel their candidacies have been worth the effort.

       —Kerry D.    May. 27 '09 - 02:17AM    #
  158. Mike, you took the bait. They compare themselves to Dr. King and their opposition to the Nazis. They use racist images (swastikas and crossed out stars of David), then deny their meaning. They make wild claims about the evils of Israeli goods, but when asked for specifics fall back on phrases like “in one way or another” and “all part of the same game.”
    The Colonel says, “Generally, those who favor human rights action are spoken of as misfits, who simply cannot obey the rules of politeness.”
    That is not true in this day and age, in this town. All Herskovits and his supporters would need to do is draw a straight line between the Israeli goods sold at the coop and human rights abuses in Israel, and they would have a lot more support among coop members. But they can’t do that. And those of us with a nuanced political view of the world can see what they’re doing.
    The Colonel also takes my objection to Henry’s sign to the extreme breaking point of logic, saying that it sets the bar too high for candidates for the board: “The flag of Israel contains a Star of David. Therefore anyone who disrespects the flag of Israel is “anti-Semetic”?
    Fine; then I suppose a candidate who promises never to disrespect the flag of Israel will have to be found, to stand up for Palestinian human rights.But first, that candidate will have to make sure that no Palestinian, no matter how many family members they have lost, will ever be seen disrespecting the flag of Israel. Right?”
    No Colonel, you can do whatever you want — but we can see what you’re doing, don’t try to hide it. We are not that stupid, and I don’t think you are either.

       —angry coop member    May. 27 '09 - 03:26AM    #
  159. Well, Angry Co-op Member (#162), you really express this pretty well. And, you are basically saying what Zach G. said, that these people, The Colonel, Herskovitz, Loucks, Aimee Smith, Kerry D. et al, set up these straw men to speciously compare anyone who disagrees with their program as racists. Then, while pointing to a noble person like Dr. King, they try to put their candidates up like they are some kind of martyrs, tireless workers for human rights, and those who oppose them are labeled evil beings or worse who don’t think Palestinians are human beings. Straw men and specious, misleading, tendentious arguments. No substance there.

    What would Loucks and Herskovitz do for the Co-op? The exact same thing they have done to help Palestinians. Absolutely nothing!

    Oh, sorry, they have accomplished something: made themselves the objects of ridicule—and not in a shining, exemplary civil rights worker way. Dr. King died for the cause of justice and non-violence. Messrs. Herskovitz and Loucks only cause divisiveness in the service of nothing except showmanship, which is especially evident in a self-promoting egotist and pseudo-“human rights rock star” like Herskovitz is.

    How outlandish to try to measure Herskovitz up to Dr. King. I would suggest a much more fitting comparison: Fred Phelps. Like Herskovitz and his devotees, Phelps and his followers picket houses of worship, aggressively shout hateful slogans, and flaunt screaming, offensive signs. What fundamental difference is there between Herskovitz’s pickets calling Israelis “Nazis” and Phelps with his “God Hates Fags,” “God Hates Israel,” and “Jews Killed the Lord Jesus” signs? Phelps, by the way, is now also targeting Jews just as Herskovitz does. Dr. King never went around screaming and yelling names like “Nazi murderers” at Jews. Dr. King never led or encouraged a picket against a synagogue. Takes a pretty brave, humane person to do that, doesn’t it? Well, that’s the kind of person who wants to run the Co-op (into the ground that is).

    The Colonel keeps saying over and over and over again, why don’t we allow his wonderful candidates to discuss their fabulous one and only platform plank? Well, they’ve discussed it to death. They’re not getting anywhere with it. Their referendum was crushed two years ago; the PFC members don’t want it, don’t need it, and know it’s not relevant to the PFC. Yet, it could be rejected a 1,000 times a week, and they’d still try to take over the Co-op, just as they unsuccessfully have failed to take over anything else in town except the HV “Greens.”

    Angry Co-op Member, as you and several other people who are on the ball, keep asking the candidates with only one hugely irrelevant program: what about the expansion of the Co-op and other real Co-op issues? What about increased pay for PFC employees? What about members’ dividends—do we keep holding them back to make sure that the workers get better compensation and/or to put back into the store? You also asked about a recurring leak by the hot bar in the café food service area. These and the things that actually matter to PFC members are applicable, but again, some folks have only one recorded message they’d rather play over and over and over again because they can’t handle real Co-op issues or even have a clue as to what the Co-op is in reality about.

    You can keep raising relevant issues, but the Herskovites and Loucks supporters and other BIGots will keep hammering their anti-Israel agenda because they have nothing, positively nothing else.

    This is a thread that’s supposed to be about the Co-op board elections and issues pertaining to same, not about the pseudo-“humanitarian” and truly negative, destructive plan of two aggressive candidates. I’d love to know how taking Israeli couscous—sold in virtually all markets in our area—and another couple of goods off the PFC shelves will benefit anyone except the BIGoted agenda of a few local fanatics and extremists who couldn’t carry the shoes of Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, John Lewis, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, or any other true worker for human and civil rights.

    You’re right, we’re not that dumb, but if the other side isn’t dumb, they sure are deaf and likely blind as well.

    Again, the only rational, humane, Co-op way to use your votes are for candidates who can do something for the Co-op, do understand its issues, and are qualified to sit on its board: Jeff McCabe and Rebecca Kanner. We really can’t afford anything else if we want the PFC to prosper and succeed, especially in financially unstable times.

       —Mike    May. 27 '09 - 07:03AM    #
  160. Dr. Pastner actually raises a good point in his last post: Co-op members recognize the financially unstable times Michigan, and to a lesser extent, Ann Arbor finds itself. And what better tax incentive could the Board of Directors of People’s Food Co-op bestow upon its members than a Director who will not only keep Israeli products off the shelves, but will place a call for the termination of US Aid to a state that continues its genocidal practices? Just think of the money we could save by diverting those wasted funds into our children’s education, roads and bridges, universal health care, etc. This would be more than just a stimulus package: it would compel other socially conscious businesses to follow suit, and say NO! to discrimination, violence, and ethnic cleansing. Tax dollars are OUR dollars; let’s employ real democracy – a PFC value for sure! – and tell our Israel-driven Congress how we want our monies spent. Suggested reading: “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” by Dr. Ilan Pappe.

       —Henry Herskovitz    May. 27 '09 - 03:56PM    #
  161. According to Congressman Dingell, the U.S. Congress has given $300 billion to Israel. Imagine what $300 billion would do to turn Detroit into a paradise for education, health care, mass transit, and industry. Imagine what $300 billion could do for Ann Arbor, and for Michigan. No one would ever be hungry or unemployed in the entire state of Michigan.

    Mr. Herskovitz’s vision is a very realistic one. Of course the Co-op should Boycott Israel, and of course the U. S. Congress should cut all aid to Israel. Again, imagine where $300 billion could be spent, right in this state.

    A vote for Mr. Herskovitz is your statement about human rights, and about where our priorities should be, when it comes to dishing out $300 billion.

       —The Colonel    May. 27 '09 - 05:08PM    #
  162. Yes Ann Arbor is the hot spot of the US. Every Saturday you are out protesting also we have seen you at the Federal building and around town. So far from my eyes I have not seen much difference. Have you made any difference??

    So lets pretend that the PFC stops selling foods from Israel – then what? I like others are already shopping elsewhere; the PFC may continue or it may fail. Lets say it fails (PFC), then where are you going to move? What is the “next big protest” going to be… ?

    I do understand both sides of the coin, what I don’t understand is will what you are doing here in Ann Arbor make any change state, country, world wide? I don’t think so.

    - Dill

       —Dill    May. 27 '09 - 05:18PM    #
  163. Dill, you might want to read this cite for an ethnographic look at the reasons why people believe they can make a difference in specific areas:

    Eliasoph, Nina. 1997. “‘Close to home’: The work of avoiding politics,” Theory and Society, 26 (5): 605-647.

    Sorry, I don’t have a copy I can post publicly.

       —Matt Hampel    May. 27 '09 - 08:18PM    #
  164. Thanks, Matt,

    That article is a good statement of why concerned community members do things like boycott Apartheid, boycott non-union grapes, and boycott Israel.

    It also explains why Mr. Herskovitz has made his candidacy into a referendum, since the recent massacre of Gaza, on the Co-op’s proposed boycotting of Israeli goods.

    Here is a brief synopsis:

    “Close to home”: The work of avoiding politics,


    University of Wisconsin-Madison

    …(Sherry, a schools volunteer, in an interview)

    Was she really as small-minded as she claimed to be?

    “I care about issues that are close to home,”

    ``I care if it affects me personally,’‘

    ``I care if it’s for my children’‘:

    these are the familiar phrases that many Americans use to explain political involvement and apathy.

    Journalists, activists, and theorists often take these phrases at face value; politicians base social policies on them, trying to play to voters whom they imagine to be self-interested and short-sighted, cutting funds for projects that do not seem ``close to home.’‘

    The phrases are usually interpreted as transparently obvious indications of citizens’ self-interest and lack of broad political concern ^ their ``small-mindedness.’‘

    But these insistent, extravagant expressions of self-interest do not simply indicate clear, straightforward self-interest or parochial thinking.

    The phrases work hard. Activists, intellectuals, and other concerned citizens often
    assume that someone like Sherry just doesn’t care or is self-interested or ignorant; we try to draw people like her into political participation
    by impressing upon them that they should care (perhaps by telling them how nuclear war might a¡ect their kids), or telling them not to
    be so self-interested.

    This article shows just how hard someone such as Sherry has to work to avoid expressing political concern. Penetrating this pervasive culture
    of political avoidance requires a new way of understanding this thing that sounds like apathy and self-interest….

    Published in “Theory and Society” 26: 605-647, 1997.

    Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.

       —The Colonel    May. 27 '09 - 08:35PM    #
  165. ann arborites and coop members are not apathetic, and they are not fools. we care about social justice, but we don’t have to prove it to you. you, in fact, have to prove to us that your cause is more than the hysterical race-baiting lunacy that your strategies and tactics show it to be.
    you, unlike those to whom you compare yourselves, have not even attempted to connect the action you want people to take to the desired result. and if you want us to believe that electing herskovits will be the first step toward getting congress to stop giving foreign aid to israel and regaining the international respect, i’m just laughing…

       —angry coop member    May. 27 '09 - 08:59PM    #
  166. There was a good deal of laughing when penniless farm workers started marching for the boycott of grapes, to gain the impossible (the right to a union and a decent life.)

    After years, they won the support of this co-op.

    I believe this co-op will similarly, and increasingly, support penniless Palestinian farm workers, as they seek a boycott of Israel. Please do not laugh and say that, since Israel has driven the Palestinians off their farms, they are no longer farm workers.

    Some are still on their farms. Some can harvest without being shot at. They will surely be glad to know that we have not forgotten Palestine.

       —The Colonel    May. 27 '09 - 09:08PM    #
  167. no no, i’m not laughing at the palestinians, i’m laughing at you, for continuing to willfully twist your opponents words into an unrecognizable shambles of hatefulness and indifference. you’re doing a painfully poor job of converting me to your cause.

       —angry coop member    May. 27 '09 - 09:35PM    #
  168. Can you name 1 person, anywhere in the world, who is requesting the boycott of all Israeli goods, whom you would not describe as “hateful”?

    Can you explain how your opposition to a simple humanitarian boycott of Israel is supported, by even 1 Palestinian on Earth?

       —The Colonel    May. 27 '09 - 09:50PM    #
  169. “Our support for Israel.”

    In his speech, Dick Cheney may have slipped when he gave one of the reasons for “why they hate us”.

    The US support for Israel (especially the military) is rarely mentioned as a cause of terrorism.

       —Michael Schils    May. 27 '09 - 09:59PM    #
  170. colonel, yes i’m sure there are many people who support a boycott without resorting to the level of hysteria and shrillness that you do. i’d like to meet one and have a rational discussion. a girl can dream….

       —angry coop member    May. 27 '09 - 10:13PM    #
  171. Re Post#159: Martin Luther King III, the son of Dr. King, who has himself been involved in many civil rights causes, including the Detroit News strike of several years ago when he walked a picket line with strikers, had declined to state a position on the Israel-Palestine conflict when interviewed by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

       —Mark Koroi    May. 27 '09 - 10:23PM    #
  172. In contrast to some, I am a happy People’s Food Co-op member. I am happy that co-op mambers gave Chuck Loucks some 200 votes the last time he ran for the Board and that hundreds voted in favor of the boycott resolution before that.

    I am happy that despite those defeats co-op members of conscience have not been defeated and keep coming back year after year. That’s how slavery was ended and that’s how Jim Crow was abolished—people of good conscience not giving up after every little defeat along the way.

    I am happy that Jewish supremacists are on the defensive. Adam Horowitz has an interesting post on the Mondoweiss blog entitled AIPAC ED fears the growing movement to sanction Israel could fundamentally change US policy towards Israel. He’s right. The gist of the piece is that AIPAC and Zionists are increasingly worried about the growing BDS movement and I think the comments of Zach G and Mike testify to that.

       —happy co-op member    May. 27 '09 - 11:51PM    #
  173. Re Post #176: What was the actual vote tally for each candidate in Mr. Loucks last candidacy for PFC director?

       —Mark Koroi    May. 28 '09 - 12:18AM    #
  174. posts 164 and 167—

    Yes, indeed not shipping $300 billion to Israel and keeping it at home will make a lot of difference in the life of an average American.

    Not only will we be financially better off not throwing it away, the main reason why U.S. is so much hated in the Middle East (Israeli military atrocities) will be eliminated and may be we will be better liked then.

    Cut off the money to the Zionist State.

    Boycott Israel at PFC

       —A happyER co-op member    May. 28 '09 - 12:21AM    #
  175. In response to message #165: How humorous that apparently Mr. Herskovitz attributes my post, #164, to Prof. Pastner. Although I am an admirer of Pastner’s and his biting text, especially a great op-ed he had published in the Ann Arbor News some months ago, I am not he.

    And, as usual, Mr. Herskovitz takes my comments and those of other honest brokers on this site and elsewhere and responds with a non-sequitur besides also—par for his off-kilter course—evading the topic or bringing anything new or substantive to his empty table.

    In addition to refusing to recognize that virtually no one in the Co-op shares his stilted viewpoint on Israel or anything else and that his call for a boycott was overwhelmingly voted down not even two years ago, he persists in trying to pass off his opinion as fact. I’m tired of wasting energy debating him (you can’t have a serious debate with a human tape recorder anyway) about his constant playing fast and loose with facts and his simplifying what is a very complex situation; his ignoring the truly huge, brutal human rights violations in this world, many of those originating from his beloved Hamas, Hezbollah, and many others in the Arab and Moslem world; and his vilification of Israel and its supporters. If he were truly consistent, he would call for an immediate boycott of the overpriced Palestinian olive oil on the PFC shelves—something, by the way, that I do not ask for.

    I know that the Co-op members don’t fall for his act and will not elect such a hateful, disingenuous, pompous, and destructive figure to any post nor his partner in crime, Charles Loucks. Herskovitz has demonstrated over the years that by clinging desperately to his single issue, he hopes somehow to be in the limelight. Like Fred Phelps, all it will continue to earn him is ill-will, scorn, and the backside of the community.

       —Mike    May. 28 '09 - 02:11AM    #
  176. Re # 173: “The US support for Israel (especially the military) is rarely mentioned as a cause of terrorism.” —Michael Schils

    Like Herskovitz, Schills is into blaming the victim and making excuses for mass murderers.

    I suppose it is US support for Israel that is causing Sunnis to kill Shiites and vice-versa and each group to kill Kurds and Christians almost daily in Iraq? I suppose it is US support for Israel that is the cause for the Taliban beheading their fellow Muslims, blowing up girls’ schools, and trying to impose their special brand of Dark Ages savagery in Pakistan? And it must be US support for Israel that forces Islamic extremists in Pakistan to kill each other and blow up mosques along with Christians, Hindus, and other infidels in Pakistan and India and Indonesia? Yes, and I guess the 3,000 plus who were incinerated by your “freedom fighters” on 9/11/2001 deserved to die a horrible death because your terrorists were upset by US support for Israel?

    The cause for terrorism is terrorism itself: the unbridled desire to kill, maim, and make everyone in the West and anywhere else that doesn’t want a medieval, barbaric totalitarian band of neanderthal theocrats ruling their every waking moment.

    Terrorism is also designed to make those in once more-or-less democratic lands clamp down on freedoms and be always driven by fear or see its leaders rule by exploiting fear. Nothing could be more specious and low-down than people who excuse this mass movement of worldwide terrorists.

    To the extent that these terror campaigns are succeeding, we have to thank people like Herskovitz, Schills, and their fellow travelers for making heroes out of mass murderers while vilifying their victims and their loved ones. This is exactly why Loucks and Herskovitz and their hate-fueled thinking will again be rejected by the majority of PFC members who see clearly just how vile and destructive they are.

    I don’t think the PFC members want their board hijacked by people who excuse, understand, and tolerate terrorism. The majority of the people of the Co-op will realize that there really is only one sane and positive choice in this election if we don’t want to be saddled with highly divisive, ultra-aggressive, one-sided, single-issue fanatics:

    It’s very easy. Vote for Rebecca Kanner and Jeff McCabe!

       —Mike    May. 28 '09 - 02:48AM    #
  177. When you say “divisive”, do you refer to anything that would “divide” us from the supporters of Israel?

    Because after Gaza was so fearsomely bombed to dust, many co-op members will probably be glad to “divide” themselves away from the Israeli air force. You may find hundreds of Co-op members eager to “divide” away from Israel as fast as they can.

    Who will supervise the voting, and what kind of oversight will co-op member have as the ballots are counted?

       —The Colonel    May. 28 '09 - 02:59AM    #
  178. Re Post#180: Mike, do you believe that if the PFC board did not extend the deadline for Kanner and McCabe to register as director candidates and Messrs. Herskovitz and Loucks were elected due to a lack of opposition, few persons would have noticed or cared?

    By vehemently opposing these two fellows in their quests for Board posts, they have already succeeded in bringing their pro-Palestine positions to the forefront of public opinion, which is what they primarily seek anyway.

    A PFC board with these two candidates are still a minority and their pro-Palestine agenda still would not likely get beyond the discussion stage at Board meetings.

    The PFC boycott campaign was a success to persons supporting Palestine because it brought their message to the public eye and received substantial attention. The actual vote was merely anti-climactic.

    To get Kanner and McCabe elected does really accomplish very little for the pro-Israeli cause simply because neither are involved, to my information, in the Israel-Palestine issue, nor does the PFC board have much, if any, power over that foreign policy issue as a whole.

    By placing you and pro-Israeli others on the defensive, Herskovitz and Loucks have already won in principle because the substantial collective response by pro-Israel forces verifies that the issue is a legitimate one that warrants vigorous attention and counter-arguments.

       —Mark Koroi    May. 28 '09 - 03:31AM    #
  179. laying the groundwork for complaining about the vote count when they overwhelmingly lose, just like last time. what kind of oversight do you want? have you asked? i bet you could go count the ballots yourself, if you’d ask. or maybe you’d rather complain after you lose.
    with the grape boycott, it was easy to see that this particular product was produced under unjust conditions. same with boycotts against products using sweatshop labor. a boycott against all israeli goods does not make that connection.
    why do you keep avoiding my questions about expansion and competition? let me ask in language you might understand — why are you such a cowardly racist apologist for atrocity-perpetrating war criminals that you can’t answer my simple humanitarian question?

       —angry coop member    May. 28 '09 - 03:40AM    #
  180. Mark Koroi — I disagree for these reason: Everybody knows all they need to know about the Arab-Israeli conflict, and few will change their positions. All these people have done is advocate for an extreme position, call their fellow coop members racists and worse when they disagree, and generally yell till they’re blue in the face. No education or persuasion has gone on here (except for Herskovits admitting that he doesn’t know exactly how Israeli goods connect with the oppression of Palestianians, just “in one way or another”. that was educational). We are on the defensive because these people are calling us names, not because we think they have any valid points about the real issue or that our little debate here will impact the larger conflict at all. That, plus they use racist tactics and strategy, naturally prompting a response.

       —angry coop member    May. 28 '09 - 03:47AM    #
  181. It is fascinating how Israel (fat with $300 billion from the United States Congress, bursting with an incredible nuclear arsenal) still poses as the victim!

    Is Palestine (dead broke, massacred, utterly defenseless) really supposed to be the “racist” aggressor??

    Who can believe it? We will see who the co-op voters believe, assuming the vote count is prompt and transparent.

    It is certain that hundreds will vote for the candidate who expects some gesture for Palestinian human rights from his co-op (Mr. Herskovitz).

       —The Colonel    May. 28 '09 - 03:57AM    #
  182. Re Post#184: B’Tselem, Machsom Watch, and the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) are all examples of organizations in Israel that observe, investigate, and document human rights violations against Palestinians by Israeli military and security forces. Their membership includes Knesset members, academics, and other prominent figures in Israeli society.

    Those organizations should be, and are, lauded by many Israelis for their work in attempting to impose accountabilty for Israeli government violators of civil rights. Such accountability is necessary if we are going to have any semblance of a true peace in that region in the near future.

    Likewise, there have been atrocities committed on the Palestinian side against Israeli civilians, but mostly against fellow Palestinians who may oppose either the Palestinian Authority or other ruling factions, such as Hamas.

    In short, there is plenty of blame to go around on both sides of the fence. A dialogue toward resolution is what is needed and the one positive aspect of the proposed boycott and the candidacies of Herskovitz and Loucks is that these important issues get placed in the realm of general public discussion. Foreign policy controversies such as the Indochina Conflict and Apartheid South Africa were ultimately resolved with the assistance of American civil rights groups and the international community. The Israel-Palestine question requires such attention.

       —Mark Koroi    May. 28 '09 - 06:50AM    #
  183. The ballots are validated (checked against member lists for current paid-up status) by two staff members, and then the ballots are counted (apart from their member info) by board members and volunteers.

    The board has policies on observation of both the validation and vote counting processes, in place for more than a year in response to questions regarding transparency in the boycott vote.

    Pretty much all of the validation is done. There have been 519 valid votes counted to date. Most of the rest of the vote counting will occur Thursday. Quorum is 645 valid ballots. We expect to make quorum – in fact I’ll try to remember to post when we have officially made quorum.

    But, if you are a co-op member and haven’t voted yet, I urge you to get to it – the Annual Meeting is Sunday and the election will be finished then.

       —Peter Schermerhorn    May. 28 '09 - 07:48AM    #
  184. Mike, please accept my apologies for assuming you to be Steven Pastner, #179; I would likewise be upset if someone were to confuse him and me.

    Here’s yet another reason for the PFC to boycott Israel: Three days ago most Americans celebrated Memorial Day, but few remember the two hour attack by Israel on the USS Liberty in 1967 while our ship was in International waters. Americans who know remember that this attack killed 34 US sailors and wounded 174 crew members. A full investigation has never been performed to the satisfaction of surviving crew members nor towards any semblance of justice. Rather, and this will be pointed out June 8th in Washington, DC, those aboard the USS Liberty were threatened with a possible ten-thousand dollar fine, ten years of Imprisonment and other menacing statements if they revealed the truth about this unwarranted attack.

    Can readers imagine what would happen if, say, North Korea attacked a US ship in the Pacific? Why wasn’t this declared an immediate act of war? The fact that it wasn’t considered as such is more testimony to the power of the Israel Lobby which maintains its tight hold on OUR Congress.

    So you see, that with a government whose hands are tied tightly by The Lobby, it is up to us citizens to show our government the way. And that way is to conduct grass roots boycotts of a militarized and vengeful state which survives only on the handouts we provide.

       —Henry Herskovitz    May. 28 '09 - 04:12PM    #
  185. To Henry Herskovitz

    Question: say the PFC stops selling foods for Israel – do you then quit the board or do you do the full term and do other things as well?

    Bascially are you a one trick pony?

    - Dill

       —Dill    May. 28 '09 - 04:32PM    #
  186. It has been mentioned here that Henry Herskovitz might possibly host cooking classes. This actually makes good sense. Henry has always been far more about personal exhibitionism than anything remotely constructive to do with the Middle East. Perhaps he should pitch a new show for the Food Network that would give him all the attention he obviously craves. Some theme titles might be “The Boiling BIGot,” “Seething with Sanctimony,” “Half-Baked Henry,” or, my personal favorite, “Stuff It!”

    “The Colonel” could be his sous-chef (s/he’d look adorable in a chef’s toque) and “Kerry D” (“Aimee Smith as civic leader”) could do his/her over-the-top p.r. (a la Emeril). Maybe a gig on “Iron Chef” could even result, assuming the network would trust Henry with sharp objects in the face of actual opponents.”

       —Top Chef    May. 28 '09 - 05:35PM    #
  187. Those of us, who insist on boycotting Israel, will not be deterred by vulgar language of the Zionists. Zionism is a racist ideology that is responsible for a great deal of damage to the people and the environment of the Middle East.

    A victory for “Boycott Israel” proponents will be a great opportunity to start cleaning up the massive human rights and environmental crimes that have been committed by the racist state of Israel.

    Imagine, Ann Arbor to be the first little town in the U.S. to stand up and say NO to the Zionists; when even the U.S. congress has had to buckle down under their pressure many times.

    BRAVO to Ann Arbor and all of you who are so diligently pushing for boycott of Israel, (the second largest criminal state on earth).

       —BRAVO Ann Arbor!    May. 28 '09 - 06:05PM    #
  188. Vulgar language? What vulgar language? Henry Herskovitz? The Colonel? Aimee Smith? Blaine Coleman? Headline screen names like BRAVO Ann Arbor (welcome back, Blaine, we missed your insane tirades so-oo—ooo much, didn’t we?), or calling Zionists and supporters of Israel “racists” and “Nazi killers”? Or, screaming same at worshipers (on their way to synagogue) and Boy Scouts (at a City Council meeting)? Here’s a recipe:

    Take an oversized placard, stir in a vicious antisemite desperately trying to hide behind rabid anti-Zionism and false “humanitariansim,” toss in some finely chopped twisted logic, stir in a few unsubtle smoke screens, season with a dash of simplistic mindless slogans (warning: may cause rashes and other outbreaks in those allergic to the truth, fairness, and balanced reasoning) and what have you got? BIGot Stew. Serves less than a dozen, if that many (get it?)

       —Top Chef    May. 28 '09 - 07:03PM    #
  189. No one is calling names here, except for those who fear any discussion of what is being done to the people of Palestine. The children of Gaza are in a situation of acute malnutrition and anemia. This is of great interest to hundreds of Co-op members. That will be reflected in their vote.

       —The Colonel    May. 28 '09 - 07:12PM    #
  190. Ah yes, the missing ingredient: The sanctimonious Colonel who keeps tossing the salad in the air in the desperate hope that no one sees the ingredients consist of hot air, smoke, and deception acting like he (or, is it she?) is the self-anointed (with Middle Western olive oil) spokesperson for “hundreds of Co-op members.”

    Chef’s hint: the vote spoke loudly and clearly two years ago already, so really this issue as regards the Co-op is so stale, it has mold on it. All kinds of horrible diseases can be contracted from either the undercooked toxic goulash of this failing kitchen crew or from their rotten dish that’s been sitting around stewing for two years now—off refrigeration.

       —Top Chef    May. 28 '09 - 07:30PM    #
  191. colonel — nobody’s calling names? let me disprove that right now — you’re a liar.

       —angry coop member    May. 28 '09 - 07:55PM    #
  192. Still waiting to hear from Henry not anyone else, nice to know that he has “spoke people”

       —Dill    May. 28 '09 - 08:03PM    #
  193. RE#180 Mike, if you would have noticed the context of my comment that the US support of Israel is a cause of terrorism, you would have seen that I was repeating the words of former VP Dick Cheney, who was referring to the terrorists’ resentment against the US. So all your talk about the support not being the cause of non-US related terrorism misses the point.

    Pointing out the rarely mentioned fact that US military support for Israel causes anti-US terrorism is not “making excuses for” and “making heroes out of mass murderers”.

       —Michael Schils    May. 28 '09 - 08:10PM    #
  194. I again ask that the candidates’ platforms be discussed.

    Since no candidate has been willing to answer a single question, other than Mr. Herskovitz, and Mr. Loucks, then please allow us to discuss Mr. Herskovitz’s platform, which is a co-op boycott of all Israeli goods.

    Insults only divert from that discussion, so please refrain from calling me a “liar”. Thank you.

       —The Colonel    May. 28 '09 - 08:13PM    #
  195. Re Post #188: Thank you for remembering the victims aboard the USS Liberty who were brutally and unjustifiedly attacked in 1967. This incident remains an open wound to all who have had loved ones serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

    For an in depth explanation of events related by the survivors and senior U.S. naval, intelligence, and diplomatic officials see or

       —Mark Koroi    May. 28 '09 - 08:25PM    #
  196. If I may digress for a moment from the ongoing back-and-forth….

    Following up his earlier column (linked up above in comment #132), veteran Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery wrote last weekend about Obama’s recent meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Upon reading the political tea leaves each leader left behind following the meeting, he sees potentially significant changes ahead for U.S. policy in the Middle East. In regard to these possible changes, his focus in the column is primarily on a shift in the three-way relationship with Iran and also on the issue of continued settlement construction in the West Bank.

    Click on the yaab pseudonym below for article link.

       —yet another aging boomer    May. 28 '09 - 09:07PM    #
  197. Yes, it is truly heartwarming how Mr. Obama may reach agreement with Israel, and with Arab states, on exactly how, and when, to bomb Iran into submission. Israel gets a big vote in this, and Iran (population 76 million) gets none.

    This is truly democracy in action: Iran dead; Israel free to keep demolishing Gaza and Lebanon.

    Let us hope that the co-op elections will be a better example of democracy, where co-op members can be heard as to whether they will continue buying Israeli products or not. This may help prevent another demolition of Gaza.

       —The Colonel    May. 28 '09 - 09:18PM    #
  198. Re #188: You needn’t worry, Henry Herskovitz. No one would ever mistake you for Professor Pastner. He is intelligent, articulate, scholarly, well-read and well-versed in anthropology and many other subjects, an expert on Islamic cultures, witty, thoughtful, sophisticated, urbane, a good writer, artistic, a thinker, multifaceted, and rational.

    And you? Well, you’re not.

       —Mike    May. 28 '09 - 11:42PM    #
  199. What is Steve Pastner doing nowadays?

       —Mark Koroi    May. 28 '09 - 11:58PM    #
  200. Dear Fellow Co-op Members:

    The closing of the election for the PFC board draws nigh: deadline to get ballots in to the store is by 4:00 p.m. on May 30 (this Saturday) or to the annual board meeting in the Nature House at Leslie Science Center, 1831 Traver Road, on Sunday, May 31st at 3:00 p.m. (meeting is between 3 and 5 p.m.)

    Here are positive reasons to vote for the two positive candidates in this contest, Rebecca Kanner and Jeff McCabe:

    Rebecca Kanner:

    * People’s Food Co-op Member for 27 years.

    * Believes in the PFC and its mission of providing healthful and environmentally sound and sustainable products with emphasis on fresh, locally-produced, untreated produce, and its impact on the environment.

    * PFC is more than just a grocery store to her and more than just her primary place to shop, but also where she networks with the community.

    * Has her finger on the pulse of what its members want and require.

    * The Co-op occupies a central position in Ms. Kanner’s life and is not a place like it is for others who want to muscle in with their unwanted and unasked for agenda.

    * Takes pride in her share of ownership of the Co-op.

    * Genuinely desires to give to the Co-op and again, unlike some other candidates, wants to strengthen and sustain the PFC, not rip it apart.

    * Is experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled in ways that are appropriate to the Co-op.

    * Has worked with groups that are relevant to the PFC and its mission: Community Farm of Ann Arbor, Ecology Center, and Leslie Science Center, to name just a few.

    * Is a good team member, decision maker, facilitator, communicator, and fiscal manager.

    All of these qualities put Rebecca Kanner in good footing and position her well in a period of uncertainty and economic difficulty to ensure that the PFC will not only survive but thrive and, as she says, “continue to exist for our children’s children, so they too can shop cooperatively!”

    Jeff McCabe:

    * Member of the Co-op for 21 years.

    * Committed to The PFC, which continues to be an important part of his family’s life.

    * Has made a long-term commitment to the PFC goals of healthy foods and disseminating information on same to the Co-op community.

    * Dedicated to working with organizations that are re-imagining sustainable living practices.

    * Devoted to expanding local markets for our region’s farmers and potential farmers.

    * Seeks to help the Co-op seize the opportunity to make a difference in a time of changing national priorities and economic turmoil.

    * With his wife Lisa Gottlieb established Repasts, Present and Future to support local food organizations, which celebrates the bounty produced by our region while working to foster the next generation of farmers and consumers.

    * Collaborates with organizations such as The Agrarian Adventure and Growing Hope in their endeavors to establish access to garden spaces, educating children, and positively impacting food choice for many local families.

    * A team player, keenly aware and appreciative of the work that the PFC board, staff, and membership have put into making the PFC a viable community store and organization.

    * Is well-acquainted with the necessary elements that make for a functional, productive board of directors–not the dysfunction, lack of flexibility and direction, and irrelevance that are the only things that some other candidates would bring to the table.

    As Jeff states, “In this work, we have noted a hunger not only for healthy foods raised with sustainable practices, but an equal hunger for connectedness and a sense of common purpose in our individual efforts. I see the Co-op as an important hub of this conversation we are having on sustainability and self-reliance.

    “I will bring a commitment to serve this great organization that has nurtured our family and community so well for so many years.”

    As you can see, Jeff and Rebecca offer constructive and relevant know-how and practical skills for advancing the Co-op. They have the spirit and ability as well as the requisite experience and heart that are in line 100% with what the People’s Food Co-op stands for. They are well prepared to work cooperatively and not discordantly with the continuing board members and with us owner-members to help navigate the PFC through the rough waters we are now amid and will face for the foreseeable future.

    So, please keep in mind all the excellent productive, relevant qualities that are offered by this dynamic pair of candidates, and vote Rebecca and Jeff! For the good of the Co-op, my fellow PFC members, please vote McCabe and Kanner!

       —Mike    May. 29 '09 - 01:14AM    #
  201. Re: #201:
    Did you read Uri Avnery’s column earlier this afternoon during the 10 minutes between when the post (#200) about that appeared and when you posted your reply? The column’s content, especially concerning its commentary on Obama’s direction in the Middle East, is not at all what you make it appear to be. Clicking on the ‘yaab’ alias below that earlier comment, or below this one, leads to the full article in question.

    Normally I prefer to use page links for reference, rather than copy & paste large chunks of text. However, to give a clearer indication of where Avnery is actually heading, copied below is an excerpted & abridged portion from the middle of his essay:

    “No doubt Netanyahu asked for permission to attack Iran, or — at the very least — to threaten such an attack. The answer was a flat No. Obama is resolved to prevent an Israeli attack. He has warned the Israeli government unequivocally. Just to make sure that the message has been properly absorbed, he sent the CIA chief to Israel to deliver the message personally to every Israeli leader.

    “Netanyahu wanted to connect Iran with the Palestinian issue, in a negative way: as long as the Iranian danger exists, the Palestinian matter cannot be dealt with. Obama has turned the formula upside down and made a positive connection: progress on the Palestinian issue is a precondition to progress on the Iranian one. That makes sense: the unsolved conflict is fuelling Iran, provides it with a reason to menace Israel and weakens the opposition of Egypt and Saudi Arabia to Iran’s ambitions.

    “Obama’s main message concerned one issue that returned to center stage this week: settlements. This word almost disappeared during the reign of Bush the Younger. True, all US administrations have opposed the enlargement of the settlements, but since the failed attempt by James Baker, the Secretary of State of Bush the Elder, to impose sanctions on Israel, no one has dared to do anything about them.

    “It has to be repeated again and again: the settlements are a disaster for the Palestinians, a disaster for peace and a double and triple disaster for Israel. First, because their main aim is to make the establishment of a Palestinian state impossible, and thus prevent peace forever. Second, because they suck the marrow out of the Israeli economy and swallow resources that should be used to help the poor. Third: because the settlements undermine the rule of law in Israel, they spread the cancer of fascism and push the whole political system to the right.

    “Therefore Obama is right when he puts the settlement issue ahead of everything else, even ahead of the peace negotiations. A total cessation of building in the settlements comes before anything else.”

       —yet another aging boomer    May. 29 '09 - 02:04AM    #
  202. Mike: Regarding Jeff McCabe, you make no mention of the SELMA Cafe, his most notable, and controversial venture.

    Numerous persons on this thread have questioned his running of this operation and his apparent cavalier attitude toward applicable laws, rules and regulations governing eateries.

    Jeff McCabe, on the other hand has never posted on this site to address these important matters, however on a YouTube video he claims to be “working with” county and city officials to demarcate the legal boundaries that he may be crossing.

    By certain published estimates over 100 patrons are served at the SELMA Cafe every Friday. Unanswered questions that have been posited are whether he has obtained a sales tax license and collects a sales tax on the $10-$15 “suggested donations” per meal. Is he registered as a not-for-profit entity? Does he have commercial insurance(I would guess homeowner’s coverage may be inapplicable for someone who is open to the public and collecting remuneration for these meals). Are there any paid employees and are taxes being deducted? What about zoning compliance? Have health officials inspected the premises to ensure compliance with applicable law and regulations?

    These questions have been raised by many but not responded to.

    Can you respond to any of these questions, Mike, as Mr. McCabe has not on this thread or any media I have seen. We do know that the City Attorney’s office has investigated and that the front lawn chicken has been addressed and changes made.

    I have questions, as many do, about Mr.McCabe’s operation of the SELMA Cafe.

       —Mark Koroi    May. 29 '09 - 02:07AM    #
  203. yet another aging boomer, this thread continues to be about the international issue as it applies locally, not about international policy.

       —Matt Hampel for Arbor Update    May. 29 '09 - 03:09AM    #
  204. What I find as objectionable, as stated earlier by Mr. Loucks, is that the Board did not go out and recruit just one more candidate to make the election competitive, but rather went for the “sweet spot” of two candidates to run against Herskovitz and Loucks and ignored others, who will purportedly run next time, so that there is just enough candidates to exclude Herskovitz and Loucks from the Board without bringing in more candidates to “dilute” the anti-Greens vote. By repeatedly ignoring deadlines by resetting them, this is tantamount to having no deadlines at all.

    As Peter Schermerhorn stated, in the future there should be strict guidelines on election procedures and deadlines and under what scenarios deadlines may be extended. If such strictures were already written into the by-laws, much of the controversy surrounding this Board election could have been avoided.

    The current PFC board has been interpreted by some to have denied Herskovitz and Loucks a level playing field with respect to their administration of the Board election. There is even some talk that even with the deadline extension, Kanner and McCabe still filed late. The Board has not confirmed or denied this allegation by Charles Loucks, which has made some wonder what is really going on with the Board. Peter Schermerhorn stated that if such is the case then the Board will have to grant another deadline extension to benefit Kanner and McCabe; this gives rise to the possible impression that the Board is assisting two candidates it wants to the detriment of two it wants to exclude from office. If there is such another “extension” of the deadline, then fairness dictates that other PFC members also be allowed to register within the same extension.

    There is also the question of whether, when granting the deadline extension, did the Board perform the required posting set forh at Post #93 to let everyone else know so other members could have the opportunity to file also?

    The cardinal rule of construing cooperative articles and by-laws in that they must be interpreted reasonably and, further be enforced in a reasonable manner.

    I believe that if Herskovitz and Loucks lost and wish to challenge the results in court, thay may have a non-frivolous argument that the Board did not administer the election in a proper manner and that invalidation of the results could be in order.

       —Mark Koroi    May. 29 '09 - 05:52AM    #
  205. Mark, you appear to have read as thoroughly as you intend and have made up your mind that the co-op acted improperly and prejudicially. I’m not sure what I can say more to convince you or anyone else otherwise. If the co-op board is guilty of anything, it is that we did not push the elections early enough.

    Writing election procedures into bylaws would be a multiple-year process, given the lead time necessary to get bylaws questions onto the ballot. The board’s efforts are going to be in setting policy towards elections, and having committees do work that ensure fair, highly visible and viable elections year after year.

    PFC has had a history of difficulty in drumming up support for board elections – something some other co-ops share, but not all, by far. We’re going to be working hard to make sure there is never a reason to question a co-op election again.

    We did reach quorum in Thursday’s count. That doesn’t mean you should be complacent about voting, if you are a member – still vote, as votes do matter.

    My apologies, but I do believe this is the last I’ll post before the Annual Meeting on Sunday (too much to do yet).

       —Peter Schermerhorn    May. 29 '09 - 08:29AM    #
  206. To answer Dill’s questions (#189 & #196), (1) I do the full term and do other things as well, and (2) No. And Dill, if you want me to consider follow up questions, please indicate your true name and a way I could contact you. As I said in post #14, I’d be happy to meet with anyone, anyplace and anytime to discuss in more detail why it is incumbent upon US citizens to boycott Israel, and to do what we can groups like the PFC to halt the aggressive Jewish state in their till-now successful efforts at ethnically cleansing Palestinians.

    I agree with Mike and Pete that time is drawing close to the final hours of the election, and would urge readers to cast their votes for myself and Mr. Loucks. I attended a showing of Anna Baltzer’s movie about the torment that Palestinians face on a daily basis, which left one woman in tears. When Americans understand that it is our support, which makes these unbearable living conditions possible, funding should and will dry up. Dr. Smith is right to assert that the wind of current support for Zionist supremacy in Palestine is changing, and rapidly (post #42). Members of our Co-op can join the struggle now or later, but inevitably public opinion will complete the turn-around course it already is on. On topics of social change, sooner is always better, and this opportunity should not be passed up.

    Speaking of public opinion, readers are also invited to attend the long-standing and very successful vigils our group – Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends – hold every Saturday morning at Beth Israel Congregation. Our signs are witnessed by over 1,000 cars, trucks, and buses every week, and the support we receive is palpable: thumbs up and horn honks greet us every week; certainly there are negative signs as well, but they pale in comparison to our supporters. Take the challenge: come down and see for yourself.

    The success of our peaceful, silent vigils is readily evident: no town Ann Arbor’s size can boast the same number of articles and letters to the editor that appear in our single paper. We have raised the issue to the extent that writers who have no connection to myself or our group have been moved to pen their opinions after witnessing massacre after massacre that Israel commits.

    I hope to take the successes that we have garnered via our peaceful protests, and use the same peaceful strategies to implement boycotts against Israel until it complies with the demand for boycott by more than 170 Palestinian organizations: (1) full equality for Palestinians within the Green Line, (2) Full and immediate Right of Return for displaced Palestinians both in the illegally occupied territories and in the Diaspora and (3) and end to the military occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and E. Jerusalem.

    And as you walk to the voting booth, please recall the words of Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world … Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has”

       —Henry Herskovitz    May. 29 '09 - 04:33PM    #
  207. Mr. Herskowitz’s thoughtful remarks show why he is the most well-known, and most keenly respected, human rights activist in Ann Arbor. Certainly over 200 comments, on Arbor Update, show that he is the best-known candidate in this election.

    His opponents must respect his human rights credentials greatly, if they do not dare to explain their views at election time, in the only public forum available.

    Those who argue against boycotting Israel, who write as though Palestinian voters do not even exist, have published even more ugly comments against Black Americans:

    Zach G Insults Civil Rights Leader Malcolm X

    Indeed, candidates Herskovitz and Loucks are the only candidates who care enough to explain their positions to the readers of Arbor Update.

    Candidate Herskovitz, more than any other person in Michigan, has publicly refused to budge on the principal of full human rights for Palestinians. Mr. Herskovitz will not be silenced, no matter how loudly the nuclear state of Israel, and its supporters in Ann Arbor, might fight to keep Palestine naked to its oppressors, helpless, and starving.

    The other candidates would have a hard time winning without addressing the central issue in this campaign, the proposed co-op boycott of Israel, due to its extreme human rights violations, most acutely illustrated in Gaza this year. But they have not favored Arbor Update readers with even one comment to explain their stand, on this issue or any other.

       —The Colonel    May. 29 '09 - 06:16PM    #
  208. - To The Colon el

    What are you smoking? as you quoted below

    “Mr. Herskowitz’s thoughtful remarks show why he is the most well-known, and most keenly respected,”

    Keenly respected??? Other than you and a few of his lackeys “keenly respected” – no I don’t think so. thank you for the Friday laugh, maybe you should quit you day job and try comedy as a full time job!

    - Bill

       —Miroc    May. 29 '09 - 06:51PM    #
  209. For the record, I said something ON FACEBOOK about one of the most notorious violent racist in the US, Malcolm X, that was it. How dare you say that I said “ugly comments against Black Americans”! You twist anything to within an inch of its life, until what someone said is unrecognizable and serves whatever point you are trying to make! Everyone can see that! My post, again ON FACEBOOK, is completely irrelevant here! And how dare you write such a repugnant post about me and put my name on your filthy blog, your post shows nothing about me but everything about you and your character.

       —Zach G    May. 29 '09 - 07:00PM    #
  210. If this thread continues to degrade into personal attacks, it will be closed.

       —Matt Hampel for Arbor Update    May. 29 '09 - 07:22PM    #
  211. I sense a rush to prevent discussion of the candidates’ platforms, when half of the candidates have not yet discussed what they propose to do. Why have we not heard from them? Do they have an opinion about the proposed boycott of Israeli goods, which is already favored by the other half of the candidates?

       —The Colonel    May. 29 '09 - 07:47PM    #
  212. With Zach’s expressed eagerness to end the discussion, I think we see the problem with giving (usually anonymous) participants the power to close down threads with their personal attacks.

       —Michael Schils    May. 29 '09 - 08:03PM    #
  213. Does anyone know when voting results will be announced?

       —Mark Koroi    May. 29 '09 - 08:07PM    #
  214. Elections results are announced at the PFC annual meeting, Sunday, May 31st, from 3:00-5:00pm at the Leslie Science and Nature Center. We will open a new thread once the election results are posted. We’ll re-open the thread if anything substantial emerges. Candidates who have not yet responded may do so by emailing

       —Matt Hampel for Arbor Update    May. 29 '09 - 08:09PM    #