Bravo, Ben & Jerry!

Could it be that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement – which targets the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza – has finally found Israel’s soft spot?

The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, known as the BDS movement, began in 2005. That’s when 170 Palestinian civil society organizations called for an economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel for its violation of international law and Palestinian rights, as well as its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

The movement, which soon included a loose network of activists based all around the world, also urged companies, universities and others to divest from Israel and countries to sanction it…

But despite the lack of substantive economic or diplomatic impact, I believe it would be a mistake to label the BDS movement as a failure. Rather, Ben & Jerry’s decision hints at a watershed moment in the BDS campaign.

The company, founded by Jewish friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield in 1978, has long embraced a liberal social mission – which it frequently expresses through its ice cream flavors…In its statement announcing the shift, Ben & Jerry’s said selling ice cream in the West Bank and Gaza “is inconsistent with our values.”

While I don’t doubt the company’s values were behind the decision, I also believe something else was at work: Israel is losing the battle for public opinion.

Putting your vanilla where your heart is ain’t an easy step for anyone part of America’s corporate ethos. Kudos to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield for having the courage of their convictions. Anti-colonial struggles often rely on backdoor donors willing to chip in to support Freedom Movements…”But, please don’t use my name!”

Ben and Jerry have backbone. Think I’ll get a pint of Chocolate Fudge Brownie in this weekend’s grocery shopping.

5 thoughts on “Bravo, Ben & Jerry!

  1. I screamUscream says:

    Israel’s war on (‘anti-Semitic’) ice cream : Israel is waging a frontal attack against ice cream – and it is losing.
    What an Iraqi baker and a Syrian ice cream maker could teach Ben & Jerry.
    Booza (Arabic: بُوظَة‎, romanized: Būẓah, lit. ’ice cream’)

  2. Update says:

    At Risk in Israel’s Backlash Against Ben and Jerry’s? The Right to Protest.
    Israel’s push to punish the ice cream company is part of a larger offensive against Palestine activists—one that mirrors the broader right-wing assault on social justice movements.
    ‘End Jew Hatred’ to protest against Ben & Jerry’s decision in NYC
    A march to protest Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop selling ice cream in Judea and Samaria has been coordinated in New York City by the grassroots movement End Jew Hatred.
    Israel v. Ben & Jerry’s: a Palestinian-American view of the ice cream war
    Opinion: Ben & Jerry’s says its move not to sell ice cream in Israeli settlements isn’t anti-Semitic but rather pro-peace. It’s a win for international law.
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis starts food fight with Ben & Jerry’s over ice cream in Israel
    “I will not stand idly by as woke corporate ideologues seek to boycott and divest from our ally, Israel,” Gov. DeSantis said.

  3. Update says:

    New Jersey has become the latest state to announce plans to divest from the company that owns Ben & Jerry’s over its decision to stop selling ice cream in Israeli-occupied territories.
    The state’s Division of Investment sent a letter this week to Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s whose American headquarters are in New Jersey, explaining that a state law passed in 2016 prohibited the investment of state pension funds in businesses that engaged in boycotts.
    State Senator Tom Kean, a Republican, said the move demonstrated the success of the 2016 law he co-sponsored with State Senator Loretta Weinberg, a Democrat. The law prohibits public investments in companies that engage in boycotts, divestment or sanctions of Israel.
    “Our law sends the clear message that New Jersey will not tolerate anti-Semitism and we won’t financially support businesses that target Israel,” Mr. Kean said.

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