Student-Run Cafe at Evergreen State College Announces Boycott of Israeli Products
On Monday June 4, 2012 The Flaming Eggplant Café, a student worker collective at The Evergreen State College (TESC), formally announced its decision to boycott Israeli goods, becoming the most recent business to join the growing international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
According to the Flaming Eggplant’s mission statement, one of the cafe’s goals is to “nourish the local food system by making delicious, healthy, ecologically and socially just food accessible to all.” In its statement of principles, the collective also expresses its commitment to “supporting political participation and direct action to create a just and egalitarian society.” Office Coordinator Cris Papaiacovou said, “We came to a consensus as a collective to support the Palestinian civil society call for BDS because it is directly in line with our mission and statement of principles.” He added, “We are proud to join this non-violent movement to pressure Israel until it ends its human rights violations against Palestinians.”
The BDS movement began in 2005, when over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations issued a call for widespread BDS campaigns against Israel until the country abides by international law and human rights standards. The BDS call has become an international movement, endorsed by renowned figures such asDesmond Tutu, Alice Walker, and Angela Davis.
The café’s support of the boycott becomes the latest victory in ongoing student-led activism for Palestinian human rights at TESC. In the Spring of 2010, the student body voted overwhelmingly to support two resolutions, one calling for divestment from companies profiting from Israel’s occupation of Palestine, and the other prohibiting the use of Caterpillar Inc. equipment on campus. Rachel Corrie, an Evergreen student, was killed in 2003 by a weaponized Caterpillar bulldozer operated by the Israeli military as she attempted to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home in the Gaza Strip.
“We are incredibly proud of the Flaming Eggplant for taking this stand,” said Elizabeth Moore, a student and TESC Divest! organizer. “Due to the absence of accountability shown by our administration, we as students will continue to take the initiative in promoting a just peace in Palestine and Israel.”
TESC Divest! is a student-led organization in Olympia, Washington working to end Evergreen State College’s complicity in Israel’s abuses of Palestinian human rights through the non-violent tactic of divestment.
The Statement released by the Eggplant collective below:
Statement on Boycott of Israeli Products From The Flaming Eggplant
We, The Flaming Eggplant Cafe, have decided to join the call from Palestinian civil society to boycott Israeli products. "These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194." (from the Palestinian Civil Society call for BDS)
Our Mission Statement outlines a commitment to serving socially just food. Israel’s policy of illegal land seizure and destruction on Palestinian lands means purchasing items from Israel is in conflict with our mission.
As a student-run collective with the stated principle of supporting direct action for a just and egalitarian society, and as a café representing the student body at large, we feel it is important to uphold the desire for boycott and divestment as voted for by the students at The Evergreen State College."