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The “woke” ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s is facing the combined wrath of Israelis and Americans over its decision to stop selling its products in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, two Israeli territories that the Palestinians claim as theirs.
Over in America, even far-left New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has come out against Ben & Jerry’s. So have the Big Apple’s numerous Jewish-owned grocery chains.
“Ben & Jerry’s decision was also met with a swift response from some smaller grocery chains operating in the New York metro area, which has a large population of Jewish residents, saying they would either reduce or remove Ben & Jerry’s products from shelves,” according to Reuters.
For now, the Biden administration won’t call out Ben & Jerry’s by name, though it has at least reaffirmed its rejection of the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which critics say is at the root of the ice cream manufacturer’s decision-making:
Following the Ben and Jerry’s BDS scandal, the US state department comes out strong against the BDS movement: pic.twitter.com/6W8euRivGb
— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) July 21, 2021
Meanwhile, in Israel, newly elected Prime Minister Naftali Bennett — whose victory over former PM Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this year excited the left because they thought he’d be more “liberal” than his predecessor — has threatened Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever.
“Bennett, in a phone call with Unilever CEO Alan Jope, called the move a ‘glaring anti-Israel measure’ and said that the government would move ‘aggressively against any boycott measure targeting civilians,'” Reuters confirmed.
Indeed, according to Deutsche Welle, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. has already begun contacting state governors, “urging them to enact anti-boycott laws against the ice cream brand.”
All this comes after Ben & Jerry’s issued a stunningly antisemitic statement Monday announcing its decision to stop selling its product in what it dubbed “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
Yet despite this slap in the face to Israel, the company publicly pledged to continue selling its products in the rest of Israel.
“Although Ben & Jerry’s will no longer be sold in the OPT, we will stay in Israel through a different arrangement. We will share an update on this as soon as we’re ready,” the company announced.
The problem is that many Jews have no more interest in ever eating their product again, including Netanyahu:
Now we Israelis know which ice cream NOT to buy 🇮🇱💪 https://t.co/j7VNpIWX0f
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) July 19, 2021
— Brittney Hopper (@brittneytv) July 19, 2021
Looks like I am going back to never buying @benandjerrys. Thankfully this world has no shortage of way better ice cream.
— Dr. Logan Levkoff (@LoganLevkoff) July 19, 2021
We are having a board meeting this afternoon to discuss ending sales of your ice cream in our supermarket chain.
— Avi Kaner (@AviKaner) July 19, 2021
Well in that case I’ll end buying my usual @benandjerrys Caramel Chew Chew or Phish Food. Greetings from a now ex-customer in Ireland 👋
— Rory Cowan (@1rorycowan) July 19, 2021
— David Southwick (@SouthwickMP) July 21, 2021
But it gets worse.
A new report from The Jerusalem Post published Wednesday revealed that Ben & Jerry’s board of directors had wanted to stop selling its products in ALL of Israel but had been blocked by Unilever.
“Ben & Jerry’s Independent Board of Directors wanted to boycott Israel in its entirety but was stopped from doing so by the ice-cream maker’s CEO and the British-based parent company Unilever,” according to the Post.
What remains unclear is what’ll happen going forward.
According to Rabbi Dr. Mark Goldfeder of the American Center for Law & Justice, Ben & Jerry’s could potentially face legal consequences for its purposeful discrimination.
“Such discriminatory business practices are contrary to public policy. That is why there has been consistent bipartisan condemnation of the BDS movement by U.S. lawmakers,” he noted in the New York Daily News.
“American anti-boycott regulations under the 1977 Export Administration Act, the Ribicoff Amendment to the 1976 Tax Reform Act and The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act all express opposition to such boycotts. Acquiescence to a BDS pressure campaign could therefore expose a company like Ben & Jerry’s to expensive legal challenges,” he added.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 8, 2016
However, the company is no longer merely hobnobbing with antisemites. It’s welcoming them into the fold, as noted below by Israeli human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky:
But sure, tell me more how this is just about the ‘occupation’! Here is Chair of @benandjerrys Board, @Mittaloak, glorifying terror, promoting BDS and pursuing an extremist, racist and antisemitic agenda against #Israel. She clearly has history! cc. @Unilever @BenJerrysIsrael pic.twitter.com/NhxiRJc27E
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) July 21, 2021
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