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Is Israel's Government Involved in Harassment Lawsuit Against Washington Food Cooperative?

The first US grocery store to publicly honor the boycott of Israeli products is the subject of a lawsuit.

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While running for the co-op board, Trinin made the following statement at an Olympia synagogue on October 24, 2010:

Pardon me, but nowhere do international politics figure in [the Co-op mission statement]...We are to support the long-term health of this business...The reason why I am running for the board in the Olympia Food Co-op is because I want to get back to groceries. I want to get back to my community...I want to keep our community together, and I want to get out of international politics.”

She lost the election, and is now suing the co-op instead.

After losing the election, Trinin appeared at the subsequent co-op board meeting on Dec. 16, 2010, where she tried and failed to get one of the winning board candidates disqualified. At the same meeting, she proclaimed the board election “the dirtiest election since the Bush dynasty,” comparing it to “a third-world country with ancient blood feuds bubbling to the surface.”

Jeff Trinin (plaintiff)

On Aug. 12, 2010, at a co-op–sponsored community forum, I implored boycott opponents to follow Olympia Food Co-op procedure and institute a member-initiated ballot rather than resort to bullying tactics to rescind the boycott. Jeff Trinin, who spoke immediately after me, responded that he planned to do just that. This was recounted in the  Olympian newspaper:

Some boycott supporters suggested that those against the boycott launch a member-initiated ballot to overturn the board’s decision. That’s what longtime member Jeff Trinin said he plans to do. Trinin, also unhappy with the process, has collected 350 signatures that he soon plans to submit to the board for consideration, he said.

However, when Trinin and his colleagues finally submitted the petition to the co-op board, it turned out not to be a formal petition for a member-initiated ballot, but rather a call to bypass standard co-op procedure and immediately rescind the boycott.

Although the plaintiffs claim to “have exhausted all means within their reach to obtain compliance,” they rejected the most straightforward procedure available to them. Moreover, they attempted to force the co-op board to disregard co-op procedures in order to rescind the boycott, yet they are now suing the co-op for supposedly not following procedure.

Linda Sternhill Davis (plaintiff)

Linda Sternhill Davis is perhaps the most overt fearmonger in the group. In an “open letter” email addressed to me on Oct. 14, 2010, Davis wrote:

Kent [Davis] and I have worked tirelessly on issues involving human rights for decades, but because we both believe that there should be a two-state solution, with separate, self-determination in both Israel and Palestine, we have not been involved with the efforts of the BDS movement whose global leaders have admitted that they seek a one-state solution which would replace the Jewish state of Israel with a Muslim state of Palestine.

At a forum that took place at an Olympia synagogue on Oct. 24, 2010, Davis stated the following:

I wish the Olympia Food Co-op board had looked at the actual wording of what this boycott language entailed. If you read the fine print, it’s going to replace the Jewish state of Israel ultimately with a Muslim majority Palestinian state, regardless of what Olympia BDS wants everyone to believe. I am concerned that those facts are not getting out to our community...They [Olympia BDS] don’t want the whole truth to come out.

Although Davis fears that Israel will become a Muslim caliphate because of the co-op boycott, she wants us to believe that she doesn’t mind, as long as the boycott is instituted in a more egalitarian way.

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