Top of the pops! Soda Stream rewards banned pro-Israel Park Slope Co-op members

They’re in fiz-ness: From left, Sharon Eagle, Alan Ettlinger, Rhudi Andreoli, and Millie Tuttner all received free seltzer machines from the Soda Stream company after going ballistic on a projector being used to defamate the business at a Park Slope Food Co-op meeting.
Brooklyn Paper
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They’re out of the club, but they’ll never be out of club soda.

Israeli seltzer-machine-maker Soda Stream rewarded four members of the Park Slope Food Co-op with free swag after they were kicked out of the socialist supermarket for disrupting a meeting to defend the business against pro-Palestinian members who want to ban its products.

And the exiles say the prize is proof their controversial defense of the promised land was the act of heroism they have believed it to be all along.

“The co-op sees me as a criminal and other people see me as a hero,” said Rhudi Andreolli. “I was so excited. I’m an ordinary person doing extraordinary things!”

The crunchy Union Street store sentenced Millie Ruttner, Alan Ettlinger, Andreolli and her sister to one-year suspensions after finding them guilty of “uncooperat­ive behavior” at a meeting last year where members of the grocery store’s so-called “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” movement were condemning Soda Stream for its factory in the West Bank — the culmination of an eight-year battle between members over banishing Israeli products from shelves to protest the country’s occupation of Palestine.

In a letter included with the make-your-own pop machines, Soda Stream did not explicitly mention that they were rewards for rushing the stage to unplug the projector the pro-boycotters were using to convey their message, instead writing that they are for “sharing information with the Park Slope Food Co-op about the fair and transparent way we operate and about our commitment to creating broad opportunity.”

But it is clear to the rabble rousers that their unsanctioned offensive was at the heart of the company’s gift.

“It’s just a thank-you for standing up for them, which we did,” said Ettlinger.

The machine allows the spurned shoppers to convert regular tap water into flavored soda, and they think the gizmo is pretty neat.

“I love seltzer water,” said Andreolli. “In the co-op, I was buying organic sodas, and it was expensive. Sometimes I make the seltzer and get so excited.”

The exiles would rather see themselves welcomed back to the co-op, ending their banishment to such loathsome markets as Key Foods and C-Town, but their new home kitchen appliances are nonetheless a welcome consolation prize as they serve out the remainder of their suspension, said Ettlinger.

“We haven’t had an effect on the co-op yet — that’s like hitting your head against a brick wall — but it vindicates us as far as that we did something right,” he said. “We were protesting b------- and hatred, which any moral human being would do.”

Neither the co-op, nor its Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions group, returned requests for comment.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 4:58 am, August 26, 2016
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Reasonable discourse

Benny from Park Slope says:
Oh, for f$&@ sake. When is the Brooklyn Paper going to stop giving free publicity to these self-satisfied blatherers? Seems like Gersh's musical barely scratched the surface of how annoying some of the longtime co-opistas really are -- no matter what side of the goddamn Israeli question they happen to smugly squat.
Aug. 26, 2016, 10:05 am
Beverly from Vinegar Hill says:
How does the factory manage itself and its workers? And what was on the land prior to its construction?
Aug. 26, 2016, 10:10 am
Rob Green from Park slope says:
Beverly, Soda Stream has moved into Israel proper, closing its factory in the territories which caused it's Fakeastinian employees to lose their jobs, jobs that paid them the same wages as their Jewish coworkers. Now let me ask you this, what was on the land before the Romans banished the Jews from Israel and before the Muslim hoards invaded?
Aug. 26, 2016, 1:20 pm
Rob Green from Park slope says:
Beverly, Soda Stream has moved into Israel proper, closing its factory in the territories which caused it's Fakeastinian employees to lose their jobs, jobs that paid them the same wages as their Jewish coworkers. Now let me ask you this, what was on the land before the Romans banished the Jews from Israel and before the Muslim hoards invaded?
Aug. 26, 2016, 1:20 pm
carol wald from prospect heights says:
Anyone who engages in mob behavior at a Coop meeting and holds close to 200 people who were volunteering their time to attend the meeting hostage for 45 minutes, anyone who prevents free speech and discussion in a civil manner, should be banned by the Coop. I am a human rights worker and have been all my life, and I was frightened by the behavior of these individuals. Oh, and I will continue to agitate (respectfully!) for boycott, divestment and sanction of Israel for its atrocities.
Aug. 26, 2016, 4:06 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
For those who don't know about Soda Stream, before they had to move out of the West Bank, they were actually employing Palestinians and giving them living wages. Unfortunately, the BDS claimed that having the factory there was an occupation and forced them to relocate, which left many of them unemployed. One other thing, when Palestinians were working at Soda Stream they got a lot more than what their own businesses were giving them, not to mention teaching them not to be terrorists and kill innocent Israeli civilians. On a side note, it's ironic that George Soros, who is known for being anti-Israel actually has stocks in Soda Stream, but that's probably because he agreed to do that after they moved out of the West Bank.
Aug. 26, 2016, 6:33 pm
Rachel from Williamsburg says:
Beverly, the factory was located in Mishor Adumim, an illegal Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank
Aug. 26, 2016, 10:43 pm
Mitchel Cohen from Bensonhurst says:
The four "heros" are thugs who threatened to punch out people they disagreed with, blocked coop members from seeing a slide show about the boycott of Israeli products because they didn't agree with support for the proposed boycott, disrupted hundreds of people at a coop meeting.

All entertaining, but could have been much more so. Little in the way of sharp rejoinders and classy argument on the part of the "SodaStream 4" (let's not also forget to include in the boycott proposal Sabra Humus).

Rule #1 in protesting: If you're trying to block a slideshow, don't wear light-colored t-shirts that allow the audience to see the projection on your shirt!
Aug. 27, 2016, 2:07 am
Sam from Brooklyn says:
Mob behavior. Held hostage. Haha. How much did this "mob" of four people request as ransom in exchange for the hostages??
Aug. 27, 2016, 3:30 am
Karen from Park Slope says:
Soros is not anti-Israel
Aug. 27, 2016, 12:38 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
Looks like Santa received a present this time rather than giving one out.
Aug. 27, 2016, 4:31 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Rachel, there were Jews always living in the West Bank and that goes back to ancient times. They were even promised that land as part of the Treaty of San Remo back in 1920 for being west of the Jordan River. The only time Jews weren't living there was when Jordan annexed that land in 1946 and mentioned to the Jews living there that they either had to leave be killed. Many of the Jews or the descendants of those living in the West Bank went back there after it was captured in the Six Day War in 1967 after being attacked from it. BTW, the West Bank was NEVER under Palestinian rule prior to the Six Day War, it was under Jordanian rule for those two decades they had it and they NEVER offered the Palestinians a state even if the Hashemites, the ruling family of Jordan, could have done so easily with the stroke of a pen, but they chose to renege on that instead. Another thing is that there is no actual boundary between Israel and the West Bank, the so-called border the anti-Israel crowd is referring to is either the 1949 Armistice Line or the 1967 cease-fire line, but either way, it's not an international boundary. One other thing, people are allowed to live in the area known as the Green Zone, plus many of those so-called settlement were even built on lands that the Palestinians didn't even touch for decades, which really gets to me why it only mattered to them only after Jews decided to live there when they could have easily built on those lands themselves. More importantly, the settlements aren't illegal because the Israeli government never forced anyone to live there like what the Chinese government did with Tibet, which are real illegal settlements yet I don't hear the BDS calling for a boycott of China despite that.
Aug. 27, 2016, 4:41 pm
HONEY Pooter from Williamsburg says:
Soda is bad for your teeth. Why don't they smile in the photo - is it tooth decay?
Aug. 27, 2016, 5:10 pm
brooklynx2 from fort green says:
Thank you for your exposure of the situation at the Park Slope Food Coop led by demented former socialists and BDS nuts.
Aug. 29, 2016, 8:30 am
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
This looks like a photo from a Cealis ad in a swingers club.
Aug. 29, 2016, 12:53 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
This is such a stupid argument.

It's a damm soda machine people.
Aug. 29, 2016, 3:10 pm
wxcatz from Formerly of Flatbush says:
Colin, please learn how to write. This article is hardly clear. Have ever heard of attribution? Construct your sentences in 30 words or less. Keep your day job-the New York Times is not in jeopardy
Oct. 31, 2016, 2:37 pm

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