Ben & Jerry's boards the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divest, and Sanction bandwagon

I've never been able to stand Ben & Jerry's ice cream.  It's too sweet and busy for me.  Give me the perfect custardy chocolateness of Häagen-Dazs, and I'm happy.  With the passing of years, as B&J's signaled its leftist virtue, I continued to congratulate myself for preferring the better ice cream.  Now, though, it's time for everyone — even those who like B&J's — to boycott the ice cream.  It's announced that as long as Jews claim Judea and Samaria, which have been part of the Jewish homeland for thousands of years, it's cutting Israel off.

The company made the announcement on Monday:

Ben & Jerry's Will End Sales of Our Ice Cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

[snip]

We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry's ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). We also hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners. 

We have a longstanding partnership with our licensee, who manufactures Ben & Jerry's ice cream in Israel and distributes it in the region. We have been working to change this, and so we have informed our licensee that we will not renew the license agreement when it expires at the end of next year.

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.

There are a few points that need to be made here:

First, when B&J talks about the "Occupied Palestinian Territory," it's referring to a factory in Be'er Tuviya.  Daniel Greenfield explains what that means:

The Israeli factory in question is in Be'er Tuviya. The area was not conquered by the Muslim and Arab invading armies in 1948. It was not colonized by them and therefore not described as a "settlement". If Ben and Jerry's/Unilever consider that to be "occupied Palestinian territory" as the BJ press release puts it, then all of Israel is and must be destroyed.

Second, although ardent Jewish leftists Jerry Greenfield and Ben Cohen founded B&Js, they sold out in 2000 to Unilever for $326 million.  Unilever is one of the world's largest multinational corporations.  The company continues to virtue-signal as if it's still a feisty little leftist brand, but it's just a cog in another big company.

Third, the entire Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement, of which B&J just become a part, is anti-Semitic.  Even though Israel is the only pluralist liberal democracy in a sea of totalitarian Muslim countries, and even though it has legal title to the land whether through purchase, imprimaturs from both the League of Nations and the U.N., or conquest in defensive wars, it is the only country that the world seeks to destroy whether economically or by more violent means.

Ethel C. Fenig adds:

This decision follows the company's other dead-end left turns into social injustice politics:

Earlier in 2021, the brand's Twitter account called for the police to be defunded, the end of protections from prosecutions for police officers, which it deemed a "racist" policy, and for the "dismantling of the prison industrial complex."

The ice cream brand even slammed UK Home Secretary Priti Patel for her statements about enforcing UK border law, accusing her of showing a "lack of humanity for people fleeing war, climate change and torture."

China can send a poisonous virus out to the world (which it did deliberately when it allowed people to continue to travel out of China when the virus was peaking) and crickets.  Muslim countries behead criminals, amputate (without anesthetic) thieves' hands, hang gays or throw them off of walls, and crickets.  Myriad countries around the world discriminate against religious minorities, abuse women, and kill gays — and earn the right to be on the U.N.'s Human Rights Commission.  But Israel lays legal claim to a tiny bit of land that Jews have continuously occupied for over 4,000 years, making them the land's indigenous people, and the world's leftists come together to destroy the country.

Israel is not taking this open BDS lying down.  Israeli minister of foreign affairs Yair Lapid demanded action in America:

In other words, unless American states enforce their anti-BDS laws against B&J, the states will have shown that the laws are meaningless virtue-signaling.  Israel is not virtue-signaling.  She is fighting for her survival.

Fourth, not only is Häagen-Dazs a better ice cream, but it has a more virtuous history.  B&J, as noted, was founded by a couple of radical left sell-outs.  Unilever, according to Daniel Greenfield, collaborated with the Nazis, although I cannot find corroborating information for that claim.

Indeed, rather strangely, my internet search revealed an almost suspicious lack of information about Unilever during the war years other than the fact that Lifebuoy soap was given for free to the British during the Blitz.  However, Lever Brothers invented and manufactured LifeBuoy in Britain before merging with Margarine Unie in 1929 to form the Anglo-Dutch mega-corporation.  That means that the virtue Unilever claims for bathing Brits was probably an entirely British decision when the Nazi occupation cut the continent off from Britain.

But about the fact that Häagen-Dazs has a better story: Reuben and Rose Mattus, two Jews who were fortunate enough to come to America before WWII, began selling Häagen-Dazs in 1961.  Reuben gave their ice cream a Danish-sounding name (the words mean nothing) as an homage to the fact that the people of Denmark, from the king down, banded together during WWII to save the country's Jews.

Skip the B&J's.  Enjoy some nice Häagen-Dazs.

Further thoughts from Barry Shaw, of The View from Israel:

Less than 24 hours after receiving the news that Ben & Jerry's announced they would not allow their ice cream to be sold in Judea & Samaria, what they called "occupied Palestinian territory," there has been a grassroots backlash against this company.

Both the Israeli TV and social media channels are reporting that Israelis are boycotting B&J's ice cream.

The trending emoji in Israel today are photographs of cartons of B&J in trash cans, thrown out by protesting Israelis.

You boycott us. We boycott you, is the new Israeli motto.

This ice cream company achieved something that Israelis thought impossible following the recent fractious national election. Ben & Jerry succeeded in uniting Benjamin Netanyahu with his political rivals Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid in a coalition against this ice cream brand.

Following the announcement that they would remove their products from the territories, Bibi tweeted, "Now we Israelis know which ice cream NOT to buy."

Yair Lapid called the decision, "a disgraceful capitulation to anti-Semitism and the BDS movement."

Lapid, as Foreign Minister, said he would appeal to the 30+ US states that have anti-boycott laws to retaliate against the company.

Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, said, "the company had made a moral mistake that will turn out to be a business mistake as well."

The company founded in 1978 by two Vermont Jews, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, was sold to Unilever, but the influence of the founders is still relevant in the company today. And their influence reflects the woke values that have pervaded many American Jews in recent years, values that have led them away from traditional and legitimate values such as those pursued by mainstream Jews and Israel.

Cohen and Greenfield echo the anti-Israel platform of Vermont for Justice in Palestine which has accused Israel wrongly of "abuses of Palestinian human rights" while studiously ignoring the barbaric Palestinian "Pay to Slay" policy of rewarding Arabs who kill Jews, and the Palestinian authorities who, according to Human Rights Watch, abuse, arrest, torture, and kill Arabs who oppose their corrupt rule, both in Ramallah and in Gaza, while insisting that Israel withdraw from territory that was mutually agreed under the Oslo Accords must remain under Israeli administrative and security control until a permanent peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Cohen and Greenfield are wrong both on their business decision and their biased and mistaken politics.

Ben & Jerry's announced that their political ban would start in another year and a half due to their signed commercial commitments.

It is highly likely that, by that time, this company, headed by these two American Jews, will not find Israel a viable place to do business.

Israelis like choice, but not one that leaves a nasty taste in their mouths.

In Israel today, their ice cream is confined to the trash can.

Image: Ben & Jerry’s in Hollywood Beach, Florida by Rob Olivera.  CC BY 2.0.

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