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April 21, 2009


B.K. Anderson

As a member of MEC I applaud MEC for doing the right thing and not getting involved in these politics. The whole issue is much too complicated for knee jerk boycotts. Many Palestinian-Israeli co-op ventures would also be boycotted.
I am not in favour of any boycott so kudos for MEC for having the courage to stand up for their beliefs. And for those who threaten to boycott MEC if they don't boycott Israel- they will be back when they can't find their outdoor equipment anywhere else. Do you really think they'd shop at Canadian Tire or Walmart???

Sheldon Hellin

Kudos to you MEC,

MEC is NOT a political party or political organization it is a coop that sells quality goods at reasonable prices. The Mid East conflict is not what the vast majority of your members want you to be embroiled in. Let the two sides make their points on campus or with placards but leave our MEC out of it.


Karen Levitt

I too saw the article this morning in the Calgary Herald regarding the motion to come at the MEC AGM regarding a boycott of buying from Israeli companies. I am glad to see that although MEC will allow the motion to be put forward due to their democractic policies, that it is not the management of MEC that is the source. I am also glad to see many responses on this blog against a MEC boycott of Israeli goods, and I hope the motion will not be carried.

I do not believe that this boycott would improve the situation. I believe that a company like MEC can be more influential by going into controversial parts of the world like China and rewarding ethical companies by purchasing their goods. This will do more to show the world ethical behaviour than to broadly boycott a whole country. Use the carrot, not the stick.


how do you boycott something on apartheid grounds when it is not an apartheid?

you can call that 'tin' can a 'tin can' for 100 years and people will repeat it, teach it, and promote it forever as a 'tin can' but in the end it is aluminum and was never a tin can at all, but whatever... stupid people keep breading with stupid people and we get MEC..


David Williams

I agree with the significant majority of bloggers before me who want MEC to dismiss (i.e. defeat) this motion. There are plenty of non-commercial organizations that individuals may use to voice their opinions, whether they are sympathetic to Israel, to Muslims or to Palestinians. However, MEC should not be saddled with political baggage beyond their stated goal to "improve the human condition behind manufacturing".

Those that seek to boycott Israel should first ask themselves how tolerant they would be if civilians in their cities and towns were targeted many times a day with airborne missiles as has occurred in Sderot Israel from Hamas sponsored sites in nearby Gaza. At what point would you fight back, and how vigorously would you respond?

After a decade of "tolerating" this behaviour from Hamas, Israel recently chose to fight back and did so with strength, scale and conviction. Unfortunately, the Israeli response received the headlines that the decade long Hamas initiated intimidation did not. Why is the media ignoring this? Many of those that are covering this issue seem to be left wing naifs masquerading as Hamas apologists. Wake up!

"I do not have a dog in this hunt". I am neither Jewish, Israeli nor Muslim. I am squarely on the side of democracy and freedom, and I am against tyranny, intimidation and opression. To sanction a free and democratic Israel for defending herself against a terrorist influenced regime could only be done by idealogue zealots lacking a basic understanding of the conditions the citizens of Israel have endured.

John Adler

I have been a member of MEC for over a decades and I object strongly to your Israel boycott. The MEC should stick to its knitting. There are a great many political fora where MEC members can express there ideals, this should not be one of them.

Michael Aylward

I have been a member of MEC for 30 years. I won't make it to the AGM to vote, but will vote with my feet should MEC chose to continue sourcing products from Israel.


Dear MEC,
Imagine after seeing how well of a business MEC is running, a new outdoor store opens across the street because it appears to be a great place to open a business. Things aren't going as planned in the new store, so in an attempt to destroy MEC's business they begin hurling bricks from their rooftop. Several times a day these bricks damage the rooftop gardens and often smash your windows, sometimes injuring the dedicated people in the store. On occasion plain-clothed employees and even loyal customers from across the street enter the store with spray paint and ruin hundreds of dollars worth of goods. Residents, pedestrians and even the police of the city continue on about their lives indifferently of your situation because, after all, you're the most successful outdoor retailer and you still make the best products. However that may be, you continue to do business even under threat.
Now imagine if you hire special security at MEC to enter the other store to stop those few employees from hurling bricks, or watched them intently to prevent them from crossing the street and entering your store with spray paint. And what if the residents, pedestrians and police suddenly begin to get upset with MEC for it's actions to prevent costly damage to the store? After all they're the smaller store and your business is still booming so it's just not fair to stop them from what they're doing. Perhaps people will start to boycott MEC for taking action?

Just something to think about.

Alex Israel

Boo to MEC, if this passes. Vote it down, otherwise MEC will be in danger from not being able to source any of its products from many third world, totalitarian or selected other countries. Slippery slope. Watch out, you might just get what you ask for in this "democracy".

Reg Saretsky

As an alternative to the call for boycott, would the members support a positive resolution?
Can we at MEC contribute capital, expertise, & a market outlet to support clothing manufacturing in the Gaza Strip?

What Gaza requires is a deepwater port, massive desalinization plants, & an independent manufacturing base. MEC can contribute towards the third, in the small way that our slender resources can permit.

Are we better off to light a candle rather than to curse the darkness?

Stephen Schwartz

I have been a member of the MEC since its first year of operation. With regret I would resign my membership if the MEC decides to boycott Israel.

For MEC to purchase a substantial quantity of its product from China, with its deplorable human rights record and particularly its treatment of Tibet which is of course a region of significance for many of MEC's membership would be the ultimate in hypocrisy if it were to apply a different standard to Israel.

Amnesty International condemned China for a long list of human rights abuses including its brutal occupation of Tibet. It also condemned Hamas for killing 32 of it’s own people, as well as maiming dozens of opposition party supporters, and for using children, hospitals and schools as shields from which it fires rockets on daily basis attacking the civilian Israeli population.

Israel's conduct has not always been blameless. But Amnesty International also has condemned at times the United States, England and Australia. No one has proposed boycotts against any of them.

The proposed boycott is exceedingly biased and entirely politically motivated.

Steven Poleski

If Israel should be boycotted , here is a list of other countries who should be considered for boycott.
2. China
4. Cuba
5. North Korea
6. Russia
7. Burma
8. Sri Lanka
9. Afghanistan
10. Pakistan

We can go on and on. Singling out Israel is discrimination. Period.

Jim J.

Bravo to MEC. The final paragraph of the original posting says it all.

I'm proud to be an MEC member, and will keep shopping at MEC regardless of the outcome of this issue.

John Turnbull

No one's mind will be changed here. These writers and I will grow old.

But my grand children -- and yours -- will see Israel through a different lens. The Separation Wall, the settlements, the taking of Palestinian property, their livelihoods then lives, the hollow claim that Israel is a besieged outpost of Western Democracy -- a pioneer fort surrounded by Indians -- all this will obscure the history of the Jews.

And we all have a hand in it.

Idan Shoham

I read the MEC blog entry with interest.

It certainly sounds like a small number of MEC
members are attempting to politicize the organization, while MEC management is (a) above that sort of foolishness and (b) frustrated at being pulled into the middle of such an emotionally charged political, military and human conflict.

I imagine I am one amongst the majority of MEC members in supporting MEC's management: (1) yes, by all means let MEC members bring motions to the AGM, no matter how outlandish and (2) politely, calmly dismiss them as irrelevant to MEC's mandate.

Good luck guys!

Sheila P

It's all about retail consumerisn people, whether it's Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Israel, Pakistan, China, India, Philippines, Canada, United States.....they are all countries that provide cheap labour for our ridiculously high standard of living here in the 'west', at an obviously high cost to those labouring and at an equally obvious lower cost to those of us spending and trying to look good in our goretex/entrant/lycra/nylon/polyurethane/polartec...etc. gear. "Our interest in Israel is strictly limited to business dealings with companies that manufacture products that our members want at prices they are willing to pay". That's MEC, no matter what country they deal with. They are in the business of selling their product to those of us who are continually demanding it, not saving the world. If you want to save the world, buy second hand, or don't buy at Goretex jacket a lifetime is plenty, don't you think? Even if it is last years colors......

E. Cohen

I agree with MEC's position and congratulate you on taking a stand to stick with your mandate and not be influenced by the bigotry of some of your members.
Thanks you for not playing politics.


Readers and members may be interested to read Naomi Klein's influential article on the boycott of Israel:

And here is a valuable article explaining the legal, juridical, and historical reasons why Israel is an apartheid state.

K Armstrong

I am dismayed that a member would use our Membership to advance a Political issue. I would sugget to some that bans against Countries should be considered in a Political Jurisdiction - perhaps and Organization like say the UN might be appropriate. Certainly this is a waste of time for an AGM or is this a new Political Forum for World??? Therefor I think many such motions should be allowed - I'm thinking of asking for a total ban on Products from Canada next...

nicky harris

I find it appalling that MEC is being drawn into a political argument on the situation re Israel. I for one will not shop anywhere that singles out a truly democratic country for whatever reason. Politics has no place here. If you went down that road you could eliminate at least a dozen countries and take most of the products off the shelves.

Reg Saretsky

In addition ot a 'Boy cot' may we also have a resolution that MEC carry man & woman size cots...

Advise me if I am unclear on something here...

Sandra Mostowy

Have all the members who are voting at the end of April even been to Israel to see things first hand to make an informed decision, or are they just going to believe everything presented to them in the media?

Boycott Israeli products and two memberships lost here.


I followed the links provided by poster boy "Andrew", one an article by Naomi (Kapo) Klein, and the other by Hazem Jamjoum. I took the time to read both of them and found both completely lacking in substance and any real information or evidence of Israel practicing apartheid. The entire apatheid accusations concerning Israel is based on lies and misrepresentations. If you don't believe me, go visit and see for yourself. Israel has nothing to hide.

ernie yacub

I have been a MEC member for a very long time and am quite disgusted by the overt bias in MEC's handling of this issue - for the record, i want MEC to stop doing business with apartheid Israel, an illegitimate state carved out of the holy land by colonial fiat. Israel's 60 plus years of occupation, murder, torture and genocide must be stopped.

ps my mother was Jewish.

Jesse Brown



FURTHERMORE, GAZA IS NOT OCCUPIED. First, it was originally part of Egypt. Second, Israel withdrew all its troops and citizens from Gaza in 2005 only to be met with daily rocket attacks from that land the same day they left.

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