Action: Ask the 2011 MEC Board Candidates Their Position on Sourcing from Israel

The Palestine Solidarity Network-Edmonton is part of a cross-Canada effort calling on Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) to end its “partnerships” with Israel companies as part of the 2005 Palestinian-led call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

Mountain Equipment Co-op currently sources 20 individual products from Israeli companies. These include products made by Source-Vagabond, an Israeli military contractor whose founder, Yoki Gill, and most its management are “experienced ex officers of elite IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) units.” MEC also partners with Israeli factories in the production of its “housebrand” line of seamless undergarments.

Despite this relationship, MEC claims that it maintains a policy of “ethical sourcing” with the headline question, “We believe business can advance human rights. What do you think?” on its company blog. On the same blog, MEC defends sourcing from Israel by saying, “In short, we will not take sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” ignoring the fact that by continuing to source from Israel it is directly support apartheid against the Palestinians, which is anything but not taking a side.

We think that MEC should take a side against Israeli Apartheid. You can help.

From now until March 31, all MEC members can vote online to select who will represent them on the Board of Directors. PSN is asking all MEC members to email all 10 MEC board candidates to ask them their position on sourcing from Israel, and to only support those candidates who take the position of ending MEC’s relationship with Israel.

Step 1:

Cut and paste the following addresses into the BCC field of your email program:

candidate_gibson@mec.ca; candidate_sylvester@mec.ca; candidate_hammond@mec.ca; candidate_ourom@mec.ca; candidate_gallo@mec.ca; candidate_mitchell@mec.ca; candidate_levesque@mec.ca; candidate_jay@mec.ca; candidate_schneiderman@mec.ca; candidate_sullivan@mec.ca

Step 2:

Write a short and polite email asking the candidate to clarify their position on sourcing from Israel. These emails are more effective if you customize them, and can be as simple as writing, “I would like to know your position on ending sourcing of MEC products from Israel. Please email me your position on this important issue so that I can select candidates who I feel will live up to the ethical standards I believe are important to MEC.”

You can also point out in your own words:

– that you believe that continuing to source from Israel is not a way to take a neutral position in the conflict
– that you believe that sourcing from Israel is a violation of MEC’s stated commitment to ethical sourcing
– that you will only support candidates who advocate for ending MEC’s relationship with Israel
– that you expect a response from the candidate

Step 3:

Press send!

Please send any responses you get to your inquiry to mec.election.action@gmail.com so we can post the positions of the various candidates.

Step 4:

Be sure to vote online before March 31 at noon PST for the candidates who agree that MEC shouldn’t buy Israeli apartheid.

You can also take these actions to get MEC out of Israel:

* Do not buy products made in Israel at MEC

* Leaflet a MEC store

* Ask friends and relatives not to buy Israeli goods at MEC

* Whatever else you do, please write/fax/phone the CEO and board of MEC telling them of your actions and asking that MEC halt all dealings with Israeli companies. Please email the co-op’s CEO dLabistour@mec.ca and cc any emails to boycottapartheid@gmail.com

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