New EPF Logo
                    March 25, 2015  

                            LENT                         pensieve-rock-man2.jpg                               

A Lenten Prayer for Peace
Colorado EPF DOVE

This prayerful reflection recently was sent from a friend in New Zealand who attended a retreat at the Mana Centre where these words moved her deeply:

I have the power to affect others peacefully and compassionately.

Offering careful listening, I bring peace.

Allowing my heart to be open, I bring peace.

Cooling my self-righteousness, I bring peace.

Biting back a hurtful remark, I bring peace.

Questioning my assumptions, I bring peace.

Meeting someone's gaze, I bring peace.

Vowing kindness, I bring peace.

Forgiving and allowing myself to be forgiven, I bring peace.

Understanding how alike we are, I bring peace.

Accepting difference, I bring peace.

Present in the present moment, I bring peace.

Recognizing you as a soul, respecting your gift of life, I bring peace.

Knowing each of us is part of an infinite whole, I bring peace.

May we each find ways to bring peace to others.

- Rev. Bob Davidson, Convenor, Colorado EPF Chapter


EPF in Ithaca is working in solidarity with Jewish Voice for Peace, Students for Justice in Palestine, Fellowship of Reconciliation and other groups in a BDS action at the GreenStar Coop.  This is only the third such action in the U.S.  using the democratic processes of member-owned grocery stores on behalf of food justice for Palestinians. GreenStar is the ideal venue for such an action.

In 2014, GreenStar Cooperative Market became the first grocery store in North America to receive Food Justice Certification. The FJC label means that the Coop is adhering to the highest standards for labor and trade practices. These include: fair wages, decent working and living conditions, local sourcing, child labor prohibitions, and ethical practices developed in collaboration with food system stakeholders. Living up to Food Justice Certification requires GreenStar member-owners to practice vigilance and responsibility.

Given clear evidence that the Israeli government will not change its behavior without outside pressure and in ac-cordance with the vigilance and responsibility required by GreenStar's Food Justice Certification, the Ithaca Food Justice for Palestine Campaign calls on GreenStar to no longer sell the following:
 All Israeli products and produce grown or produced in Israeli settlements the Occupied West Bank, recognized as illegal under international law; and
 All products, such as Sabra hummus, Tribe hummus, and Osem Matzo, manufactured by Israeli food giants Strauss and Osem, and their subsidiaries.
 All Israeli products and produce until the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza are no longer under Israeli military law or control, as recognized by the United Nations.

As Israel's largest food companies, Strauss and Osem are complicit in Israel's military occupation through their taxes and the dumping of cheap food products into a captive economic market where small Palestinian companies cannot compete. Additionally, the Strauss Group provides financial support to elite Israeli Defense Forces units with documented human rights abuses. The Osem Group donates money to and partners with the discriminatory Jewish National Fund, which plays a major role in the dispossession and degradation of Palestinian land. Taxes from Israeli products and produce are used to fund Israel's military occupation.  Recently Palestinian civil authorities have called on their own people to boycott Strauss and Osem products.  

Palestinians face restrictions on movement that interfere with the transport and sale of their produce and products. Truckloads of produce rot at Israeli checkpoints. Palestinian child labor is documented on Settlement farms.  Palestinian farmers face an unequal distribution of resources including water, with 80% going to Israelis and only 20% to Palestinians.  All these facts on the ground are incompatible with GreenStar's food justice certification.

Ithaca Area EPF will post updates as the Campaign progresses. GreenStar has already pulled Sabra and Tribe Hummus from their shelves because of members' feedback.   If approved, a referendum will take place next fall.  The opposition is active, which raises awareness and enhances community conversations.