« Israel, Apartheid and Boycotts | Main | Israel, Apartheid and Boycotts Part 3 »

April 22, 2009



hey, thanks for taking up the cause of boycotting Israeli products. the fact that i was just in your toronto store and found all sourts of "made in china" products shows your remarkable fair balanced and logical push for this boycott. fortunately living in toronto means that i have a variety of stores to buy from for my many outdoor activities. also, since i lead various outdoor activities and have a large family and social network i am now sending a virul email to give them a "heads up" of your truly balanced and reasonable stand.

you're a joke and verbotten to me and mine immediately.

i'm also sending a note to my gay/lesbian friends who don't stand a chance in any country in the middle east EXCEPT for Israel.

good on ya, you must be proud. you take on an easy target but not the true evil as you're a cowards living in a free society without surrounding threats.

Randy Milner

MEC's sources 33% of its branded goods from China and less than 1% from Israel. Yet these agitators choose to ignore China's record of abuse of human rights, controlled press, corruption, oppression of falon gong, minorities and Muslims, capital punishment, stance on Tibet, slave labour camps, use of prisoners for slavery, lax environmental controls, - jeez, I could go on but you get the idea.

Instead, they focus solely on Israel.

In that context this resolution is, to say the least, mis-directed.

MEC has a sound sourcing policy. This resolution is a bald attempt to hi-jack the co-op and politicize it. What's next? Employees and customers having to pass muster on their political beliefs?

This resolution must be voted down.

dee gusted

MEC, You're disgusting and ignorant. I will never buy anything from you again and I will make sure that no one I know does either.

John Bigham

I'd like to know how to appoint a proxy for the AGM vote on this issue


I think that MEC should as a COOP with members from many different ethnic backgrounds should stay out of this debate and agree not to hold a vote on this political resolution or at the same time I would like to have a vote on China and it's dreadful Human rights record and illegal occupation of Tibet. I could probably list dozens of other countries that should also be part of this resolution.

Allen Stern

Those proposing this motion to boycott Israeli products are obviously politically motivated,themselves Racist and self servingly selective.
Apartheid in South Africa can in no way be related to any situation in Israel (I lived in South Africa for 50 years so should know!) and any attempts to compare the two are totally ludicrous and hypocritical.
Forget the "smoke and mirrors", those bringing about this resolution are no different to any other Anti-Semites who wish nothing less than the destruction of Israel. I applaud the fact that MEC itself has taken a non-political stand and will not be drawn into this garbage.

Marky Mark

If the operative rules are as follows, and if you want to stay out of politics, I'm wondering why the directors have allowed this resolution to be put forward altogether?

"8. Special resolutions
8.01 1) Subject to Rule 8.02, the Co-operative must give notice of the intention to propose a
special resolution if the resolution is:
a) being proposed by the directors, or
b) submitted, together with a request by at least five members that notice be given,
before the close of nominations as defined in Rule 10.02(1)(c).
2) The Co-operative must give notice of the intention to propose a special resolution by
posting the notice and the text of the special resolution on the Co-operative’s Internet
website, concurrently with the election information.
8.02 If at least 2/3 of the directors resolve that a special resolution is frivolous, vexatious, or
an abuse of process, or that the resolution, if passed, would harm the Co-operative, the Cooperative
may refuse to give notice of the resolution. The members requesting notice of the
resolution must be notified immediately by the directors of their decision and the reasons for it."

Tom H

There is a huge hole in the logic of the "boycott Isreal" motion, whatever you might believe about the political issues.

- "Israel" isn't selling the two products to MEC, two independent companies are! They happen to be based in Israel.

- If one chooses to punish these two companies because of "guilt by association", factors beyond their control - how ethical would that be?

My strongest support for voting against this ill-conceived and naive motion.


If you believe in boycotting products developed in Israel, I hope you never get sick and need a cardiology "stent", developed in Israel.
Do you use the instant message program "ICQ"? also developed in Israel? The list is long.

A. Singh

Can business advance human rights? Yes and No. Yes, if business makes people's lives better and if that is taken by their government as evidence to better the lives of people who have been oppressed. But when a government becomes a bully such as communist China, then the answer is no. China is far worse offender of human rights than Israel. Yet MEC stocks 90% of their products from China. This is the country that has occupied peace loving people of Tibet since 1957. No one cares... as long as we can get the good cheap and profit margin high. Remember these are not the people who are suicide bombers or who call for destruction of a people or a nation. Yet Chinese government comes up with outrageous comments about Tibetans, namely Dalai Lama. I have never read a single positive comment about the man in Chinese press. They have referred to him with all kinds of names.
The Chinese government does not care because they know that western businesses in need of high profit, high margin, and low cost production will always be there in China. We can hide this under ethical sourcing, or other fancy names. So, how does this help one of the most peaceful people? It does not. It actually empowers the government to oppress certain people even more.
Please note that I mentioned government of China not Chinese people.

super hiker

600 kids killed in Gaza this year. Boycott gets my vote.


I require an online vote as I'm not able to be available to vote on this date.

Eric Tuffly

I think that what you guys are doing to Israel is well deserved. Someone has to take a stand, and defend the rights of Palestinians. Israel has gotten away with war crimes far to long. This boycott will hopefully be the first of many actions against Israel.

Thanks MEC

Selina Smith

I trust that MEC will do the right thing and honour the good faith of Israeli suppliers by continuing to deal with them. I am outraged that other members would use MEC as a source for anti-semitism. Even though I am not in Vancouver to vote I hope that my sentiments will be echoed loud and clear.

Eric Tuffly

Someone has to take a stand and back up Palestine. They have been kicked out of their homes and brutally murdered. When Palestine gives up their lives to attack Israel, they call it terrorism, but when Israel attacks the call it Self-defense. The Palestine people have no choice, they dont have anyone backing them up because Israel is in bed with the USA. The US gives $6 billion a year to Israel and most of that goes to military thats is for killing Palestinian people who are throughing rocks at Israeli tanks as they come into their villages and bulldoze their homes to make new Jewish settlements.

What are the Palestinians going to do? sit their and watch Israel kill their friends and family and take away their new home that they built? NO! they are going to defend themselves like any country would do, but they are labeled as terrorist when they do it. This is because Hollywood and all the JEWISH directors, screen writers (everyone in Hollywood is Jewish, or some how magically finds out that they have some Jewish in them, and they mysteriously get more roles because of it) they did a good job labeling muslims as terrorist.

Hollywood comes out with hundreds of movies about the what Jewish people have gone through, but no one will write one single movie about what Israel is doing to Palestine, because no Jewish head executive of a studio will fund it, cause they dont want you to hear the Palestinians story, just Israels. Dont you notice in every movie they always mention something about being Jewish or something about Israel, for no reason? It has nothing to do with the movie.

How about in Calendars when they have Christmas written down and the Jewish Holidays as well. BUT in NO Calendar there is a mentioning of Muslims Holidays. I guess that the Billion people religion is no match for Israels 7 million people (or whatever they claim they have)

The only man to publicly stand up to Israel is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the Iranian President, and of course he is labeled as a terrorist They put his words out of context to make him sound bad. ONLY BECAUSE HE SAID SOMETHING ABOUT ISRAEL. But if you say something about whites or Asians it wont be a big deal. They even have there own word for people who oppose Israeli's "Antisemitism". Mahmoud is actually a smart guy he has a degree in Civil Engineering, unlike USA past President who is an alcoholic, and failed at everything that he did. I wonder how he got in power..... ISRAEl. He is the perfect puppet for them.

On the news they only show attacks on Israel and people crying, when they talk about Palestine they show them with bombs on their chest. Well sorry that Palestine does'nt get $6 billion from the US, so that they can get fancy helicopters to hoover above the city and shoot down on civilians.

Does anyone remember how Jessie Jackson dropped out of the Presidential race? Cause he said something bad about Israel. Thats a no-no he hurt their feelings, hopefully Israel recovered from that. Or that French Canadian guy who was running for some political seat in Canada. He mentioned Israel! have you heard anything from him? Probably at the bottom of the sea.

Its sickening how people only see one side.

Adam Biesinger

I have the strongest support for MEC, and know that any member who has read the Mountain Equipment Coop response and open disclosure on this issue would never boycott the store. Go back to the beginning of this blog and read the official statement to understand what is being said.

All members of our cooperative are able to bring resolutions to an AGM when it is presented within guidelines. MEC does not sensor or reject resolutions when presented in this framework. MEC is not even considering a boycott of products made in Israel, a few of its members (out of millions) want to propose this to suit their own beliefs, allowing members to speak their mind is something MEC is based upon.

Please stop overreacting. MEC is obliged to listen to its membership, and is not participating in, proposing, or initiating a boycott on products made in Israel. There are a couple basic sides to the story being confused here-politics and shopping. This is just shopping folks.

Richard Paul

I was appalled to hear of this proposed boycott...just because some members do hot agree with Israel's defensive strategies. I have choices where to shop and if this proposal is passed I will withdraw my membership and make my purchases anywhere else BUT MEC.

Alan Sboel

Dear Mr. Labistour:

I have been a member since 1975. I am a frequent purchaser at MEC, and I am well known and friendly with many of your staff members at the Ottawa store. I am a strong supporter of the State of Israel and of democratic principles.

I applaud the MEC for upholding its own democratic principles by allowing this resolution to go forward. All democracies are imperfect, and, as de Tocqueville noted, they are especially imperfect when the majority is wrong-headed. I hope that this does not prove to be true of MEC members on April 30th.

I also hope that there is a vibrant and well informed discussion about Israel at your next AGM as part of the resolution to boycott Israeli suppliers, and that you take advantage of Avi Benlolo's (Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre) proposal to educate our members at that meeting. You may also want to include a Palestinian interlocutor so that all points of view are present.

I would be grateful if I could receive the results of the vote from the AGM, and in particular, an indication of who on the Board supported the resolution. I want to be sure not to vote for them at the next Board election.

Could you also please let me (and others) know how I can cast my vote against this resolution from my base in Ottawa?

Finally, I would like to tell you that if this resolution passes, I will cease to shop at MEC stores.

Yours sincerely,

Alan Sobel

Reg Saretsky

I would like to remind responders from both sides of the boycott issue that pointing out ‘the faults of the other’ has ‘mirror imaging. ‘

Yes, Gaza fanatics tore down some of the vacated greenhouses of Gush Yanif - & the town of Yamit was torn down by WHOM in 1982 when the Sinai was evacuated?

You have motivated me to present a motion that MEC investigate any & all support that we can provide to the Palestine , & especially the Gaza manufactures. Palestine has a thriving clothing industry, & perhaps MEC can do something economically positive for that unfortunate comer of the world.

...."My brother kneels, so saith Kabir,
To stone and brass in heathen wise,
But in my brother's voice I hear
My own unanswered agonies.
His God is as his fates assign,
His prayer is all the world's--and mine.'

Rudyard Kipling.


Hello, upon recently hearing about the potential boycott of Isreali products, I would like to suggest that you consider boycotting Canada as well. The treatment of Aboriginal people in this country is deplorable and with unsettled landclaims in this provice, perhaps you may want to suggest to your members to boycott hiking on unceded traditional territories.

Please note that Canada's history of apartheid is very real, yet few want to acknowledge this or even talk about it. Forced on reserves, culture and language criminalized for 80 years, our relationship to GOD outlawed, Aboriginal people didnt get the vote until 1960 and in Quebec in 1970. Children taken away, woman sterlized, poverty, undrinkable water and on and on it goes. Yes jurispurdence in this country has been fraught with an abuse of power.

Thanks for considering a Canadian Boycott.

Ian Weniger

I have been told by an MEC official that...

...our interest in Israel is strictly limited to business dealings with companies that manufacture products that are members want at prices they are willing to pay. MEC did not, in other words, actively encourage or assist the Israeli government to pursue military actions in Gaza. Our sourcing activities in Israel are thus in step with Principle 2 of the UN Global Compact, whereby signatory companies (of which MEC is one) “make sure they are not complicit in human rights abuses.”

This statement addresses the potential for Israeli firms who produce supplies for the occupation by stating that it's only business. That is problematic to me, and apparently I'm not alone.

An MEC blog also told me about our co-op's commitment to transparency in factory conditions where our products are made.

I have yet to hear specific details from that transparency to show how Israeli firms engage creatively and positively with Palestinians.

This "constructive engagement" strategy was cited by many nations in the past as the way to break South Africa's apartheid regime, but that didn't work. Boycotts did.

The real opportunity, in my opinion, is that a venue exists to have, at root, a brief but honest and relatively public debate of the nature of Israel. I want to praise the leadership of MEC for defending members' rights to a discussion on co-op policy that so far has not been bullied by some of Israel's supporters into shutting it down.

Aliance To Destroy Canwest Newspapers

I think MEC members should consider a boycott of Canwest Newspapers for attempting to smear a Canadian Retailing Icon through obviously misleading headlines.

This evil newspaper conglumerate is less interested in printing facts and more interested in sensationalism in order to sell add space within its newspapers.

For a list of Canwest Newspapers please see the link below.

Reg Saretsky

Well,. One could advise DANA that she has every right to propose a motion for a CANADIAN boycott…
At the risk of the AGM becoming somewhat dysfunctional.

Is it possible to have a political fora immediately before the meeting, where the pro/ anti boycotters could thrash out their concerns?

After all, theatre attendance should be voluntary...

Reg Saretsky

Ok, solved it.
To quote Clement Atlee, when challenged in the House of Commons about whether he would leave Jeruselem to the Arabs or the Israelis:
Atlee suggested that he would prefer to "just leave the key under the rug."

The population switch between Palestinas booted out ,& Mishuv Jews evbicted fropm the Arab middle east has an eerie symmetry . Of course, the Mishuv Jews were booted out of the middle east by 1950 have been integrated into Isreal- & the Palestinians have been kept by their Arab brothers in ‘holding pens’.

In 1959 the residents of the Gaza strip were stripped of their UAR citizenship, & the right to filter into Egypt, by Gamel Nasser.

Gaza has been a holding pen for Palestinians by Egypt as well as Israel. The number of Palestinians expelled form Israel eerily echoes the number of Jews expelled from the Arab nations of the Middle East after 1948. 500,000 Arabs, 470. 000, Jews. Morocco had over 250,000 Jews in 1945, in 2009-1,400. Egypt- 150,000 to – zero. Ditto for Syria, Iraq, etc. The population exchange was nearly perfect in number, if not in results.

King Abdullah of Jordan had a vision, from 1948 to 1952, of peace with Israel, then an alliance of Semitic talent & resources that would economically free the Middle East from Western dominance.. 56 years later, the ‘Canaanites’; Jewish & Muslim, should get with his peace. Given time, they will find a lot in common.


RS has now left the blogging, folks.

Peter Royce

I've been a member of MEC since the 70's and believe that your political and economic engagement with environmental issues has generally been very positive.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend your GM where I would support finding other sources for your products currently supplied by Israeli companies.

The recent Gaza bombardment and invasion was an environmental disaster from any perspective. 5,000 homes, 16 government buildings, and 20 mosques were destroyed. 25,000 homes were damaged - vast quantities of toxins were introduced into the environment.

Finally, it's hard for most of us to consider Israeli policy as genocidal but the 1,300 Palestinians killed add further evidence for this.

If a change in MEC buying policy can help stop the killing and environmental damage - I strongly support it!

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