Ben & Jerry's Reversal - A Blow to BDS

Thursday, 30 June, 2022 - 2:52 pm

We are living in a time where the present is in complete turmoil and chaos and the future seems very bleak and depressing. The country is divided on almost everything, from vaccines and abortions to bail reform and anti-Semitism. The crime rate is soaring, particularly in big cities. Gas prices are out of reach and baby formula is scarce. The border is more porous than a sponge and the Supreme Court has added fuel to an already out of control fire.
I actually feel sorry for my kids who are coming into adulthood during such an unstable period. Life is hard enough without the constant rhetoric coming from all sides. I do not know how we got here, but more importantly, I do not know how we are going to get out of this horrible mess we find ourselves in.

The problem is that if we only focus on the bad news, then we become depressed, or worse, go insane. We have to look out for the good things as well. I have always been taught to keep an eye for the positive and celebrate all victories.

In July of 2021, the ice cream giants Ben & Jerry’s, owned by an even bigger giant, Unilever, declared, “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.”
As I wrote about this debacle when it occurred, this was simply a case of selective discrimination. Ben & Jerry’s has no problem selling its ice cream products in Russia despite the occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol and certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk. Similarly, Ben & Jerry’s has no problem selling ice cream in Saudi Arabia but not the tub called hubby hubby, because in Saudi Arabia, they throw homosexuals off the highest roof to their death.
Ben & Jerry’s sells everywhere they can, but they came to a red line when it came to hawking their products in certain areas of Israel. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds. Shameful and pathetic.

Almost one year later, The Simon Wiesenthal Center received a call Wednesday morning from Unilever CEO Alan Jope, who informed the SWC of the company’s decision to put a halt to Ben & Jerry’s Israel boycott. Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and CEO of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, was informed of the decision personally in a phone call Wednesday morning from Unilever CEO Alan Jope. Shortly after the call between Rabbi Hier and Mr. Jope, Unilever officially announced it reached a new agreement with its current licensee in Israel to sell ice cream under both its Hebrew and Arabic names in Israel and the West Bank.  
Apparently, Unilever, feeling the heat from the Israeli Government and consumers, while also being entangled in a lawsuit, decided that there is a way around this quagmire. Unilever sold its Israeli rights to the Ben & Jerry’s brand to Avi Zinger, owner of American Quality Products Ltd, the company that had been distributing the ice cream in Israel as a licensee. The deal will allow the sale of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream across Israel, including in Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, without Unilever’s direct involvement in the sales.

This is definitely good news for the Jews and very bad news for the hate group Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement (BDS) whose sole desire and purpose is to hurt and demonize Israel. Ironically, the BDS movement usually ends up hurting the Palestinian population instead. So anytime the BDS gets kicked down, it is good news. We should celebrate.

Unilever in their statement following the call to Rabbi Hier wrote that the company “unequivocally” condemned any form of discrimination or intolerance, saying anti-Semitism “has no place in any society.” Unilever also distanced itself from the anti-Israel BDS movement, without explicitly condemning it. “We have never expressed any support for the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement and have no intention of changing that position.”
I am glad that Unilever finally came to their senses. I am aggravated that it took a year to do so, when it should have never happened in the first place. As for me, Ben & Jerry’s will remain forbidden forever. My reasoning is this; there is nothing worse than a self-hating Jew who hides under the cover of morality and justice, when in reality, hates himself and his kind so much that he is willing to demonize his people and cause much harm.
I do not understand the self-hate. I am a proud Jew. While there are instances where I cringe when a person or persons act inappropriately, I would never debase my own tribe and I would never ever try to inflict pain and suffering on an entire region.

In fact, Ben & Jerry’s would be wise to study the following tidbit of Jewish history. The second Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. Titus and his cohorts only got involved in Jerusalem matters after some fellow self-hating Jews known as the Pharisees called in the authorities to help them in their quest against the Sadducees. This action undeniably led to the destruction of the Holy Temple. Ironically, Ben & Jerry’s boycott was located in that very region. The lesson is obvious.

We must do better.
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