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Why Care About Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Boycott of Israel?

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

Editor's Note: This international campaign to boycott Ben & Jerry's ice cream resulted in a response from the parent owners, Unilever, agreeing that boycotts against Israel were inappropriate and agreeing to contract with an Israeli company to use the brand and produce the ice cream locally, enabling it to be sold in Judea and Samaria as well as in Israel proper.

We love ice cream. Most people wouldn't be able to differentiate among ice creams from Haagen-Dazs, Baskin Robbins, Breyers, Dreyers, Blue Bell, Chapmans, Ben and Jerry’s or any of the great local homemade brands. In fact, there are so many choices of ice cream, living without Ben and Jerry’s is an easy decision. Who needs politics with their ice cream? Especially when it is either biased, misinformed, bigoted or all three.

1) What’s the upside of a Ben and Jerry’s Boycott of Israel, even if they suggest it is only boycotting Judea & Samaria?

There’s two good reasons why we're not upset about the Ben and Jerry’s fiasco. First, it’s a wake-up call to many Jews and their allies that antisemitism not only exists, but it is being normalized and supported by unJews like Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the founders who pushed a social justice agenda with their product, publicly support the boycott .

Ben & Jerry: Social Justice Warriors boycotting Judea and Samaria
Ben & Jerry: Social Justice Warriors boycotting Judea and Samaria

Second, this is a teaching moment. Because of all the attention this ridiculous boycott is getting, End Jew Hatred hopes to get more people to read about and learn what’s really behind the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement which boycotts the only free, multicultural, democratic country in the Middle East. This yet is another crude example lesson of the irrational, historic, and biased practice of antisemitism.

2) Who led this boycott?

Though owned by Unilever, the independent board of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream voted to boycott Israel. Anuradha Mittal, chair of Ben and Jerry’s Board of Directors, gleefully led the call to prevent the Jews, Arabs, Christians, and Druze of Israel from getting their ice cream. Unfortunately for her, the parent company does not support the entire BDS movement; however, it does recognize the independence of the ice cream company and has agreed to the boycott of Jews in Judea and Samaria, the historic homeland of the indigenous people, the Jews. Mittal expressed her satisfaction with their decision knowing how much publicity it would achieve.

Anuradha Mittal: The leader of the anti-Israel pack
Anuradha Mittal: The leader of the anti-Israel pack

According to one report, Mittal has posted over 107 tweets condemning Israel and accusing it of various crimes. The creation of Israel, the Jewish homeland, was a “catastrophe” according to her. No problem with 22 Arab Muslim countries, but who needs one Jewish state situated in its biblical and historic homeland? To people like her, Moses, Solomon, Jacob, David, while all part of Jewish history, don’t seem to matter as a part of the validation of the Jewish ancestral homeland.

For people like Mittal, destroying Israel is justified, but the reason isn’t provided. Is social justice served by having one more Muslim Arab state and wiping out the only Jewish one? Does Mittal and her band of social justice warriors prefer the way Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (Fatah) govern their people? How exactly is social justice served by governments that abhor other religions, LGBTQ folks, women’s rights, and the rights of children?

3). Mittal fights for the rights of “Palestinians”

Social justice warriors like Mittal want to destroy the free and democratic state of Israel so it can be replaced by a Palestinian state. The Palestinian Arabs have been working hard since they were created as a Palestinian people by the Egyptian-born Yasser Arafat and the terrorist Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1967 to build their ideal state. The fruits of their labor, after all these years, are there for anyone who has eyes to see.

Freedom of the press in Gaza (reporter beaten by Hamas’s security)
Freedom of the press in Gaza (reporter beaten by Hamas’s security)

Here are a few questions most of these leftist social warriors are afraid to ask. When was the last free election in Hamas-ruled Gaza or the Fatah-controlled “West Bank”? Do they have any free press, free speech, women’s rights, gay rights? So much for a “free Palestine.”

Maryam Banat, 67, mother of Palestinian Authority critic Nizar Banat holds a poster with his picture while attending a rally protesting his killing by Palestinian Authority Forces (for speaking out against the corrupt PA regime), in the “West Bank” city of Ramallah, July 3, 2021.

ABOVE: Maryam Banat, 67, mother of Palestinian Authority critic Nizar Banat holds a poster with his picture while attending a rally protesting his killing by Palestinian Authority Forces (for speaking out against the corrupt PA regime), in the “West Bank” city of Ramallah, July 3, 2021.

Why did 86% of Israeli Arabs in a recent survey (2015) say they would rather live under Israel’s government and not under the Islamist rulers of the “West Bank” or Gaza. What might we infer from this survey data about the true demands of the Arab population?

Another survey found that 65% of Israeli Arabs are proud of their Israeli nationality. Compare that with a 2020 survey finding that 63% of Americans reported that they were proud to be American.

Of course, let’s not forget what would await the Jews in the wonderful new Palestinian state that the social justice warriors desire to create. It will be completely Judenrein! Free of all Jews. The leader of the Palestinian Authority and likely President of any future Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, has already made it clear that not a single Jew will be permitted to live in any future Palestinian state (ethnic cleansing?). When they start clearing out the Jews (“from river to sea”), its likely all those righteous social justice warriors will have gone home to eat their ice cream. Bless their little hearts.

4) Winning battles but losing the psychological war

While Israel has had to win many military battles to continue to exist, less attention has been paid to the psychological and etymological battles. Few people know about Russia’s influence in developing the sophisticated psychological and political war for the Palestinians against Israel. The strategy and tactics went into high gear starting in the early 2000’s.

For example, the manipulation and adoption, now accepted use their terms, such as “Nakba” (1948) and “occupation” (1967), instead of the “rebirth” of Israel and “liberation” of Jerusalem, have been very costly for Israel.

Other terms, like “settlers,” “apartheid,” “colonizers,” “ethnic cleansing,” “war crimes,” “violations of international law,” have been wielded like a club against Israel by undemocratic, often dictator-led countries along with their left-wing progressive friends around the world.

These terms have become normalized in everyday language, according to our enemies’ plan. The unJews, such as Ben and Jerry, Independent Jewish Voices, If Not Now, and their bedfellows have adopted these weaponized terms causing damage to the Jewish state.

Nobody seems to care about Saudi Arabian Apartheid.
Nobody seems to care about Saudi Arabian Apartheid.

By having ignored the psychological and political aspects of warfare, Israel now finds itself in the difficult position of having to justify its very existence in the media, leftist political circles, progressive NGO’s, and of course among extremist Islamist countries which dominate at the UN. One can learn more about the details of this psycho-political war and how the Russians trained the Arabs to implement it in a comprehensive article by Nelly Atlan.

5) What triggers these social justice warriors to boycott Israel?

Social justice warriors like Mittal deny the right of a Jewish state to exist, challenge the legitimacy of Jews living in the areas of Judea and Samaria, while refusing to consider the fact that Jews originated in Judea while Arabs originated in Arabia.

Calling Israel’s rebirth a “Nabka” or “catastrophe” is re-iterating the Arab propaganda which was initiated by Constantin Zureiq, a professor of history at the American University of Beirut, shortly after five Arab armies tried to annihilate the newly reconstituted state of Israel in 1948.

What better way to celebrate “Nakba” day in Gaza than trying to repeat the “Nakba” once again?

Interestingly, Zureig originally used the term “nakba” to describe the stupidity of all the Arab armies attacking and trying to destroy Israel in a war which they were bound to lose. However, the Russian-Palestinian psychological warfare machine turned this term around to represent the founding of the modern state of Israel. Liberals have now fallen for this, hook, line, and sinker. It’s an annual day of remembrance in Palestinian Arab society, and it keeps alive the myth that the Jews have no legal right but are “colonizers”.

6) Why single out only Israel to boycott?

Funny how Israel is the only country in the world that Mittal and Ben and Jerry’s single out to boycott. Most people would think that social justice minded individuals and corporations would boycott countries with far worse human rights records. One might rightly be puzzled about the lack of any boycott for human rights violations of Iran, Syria, China, Russia, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, Turkey, Lebanon, Congo, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and dozens of other countries.

While between 500,000 and 600,000 Muslim Arabs in Syria have been brutally murdered, 5.6 million Syrians have fled the country, and 6.7 million Syrians have been displaced internally, with violence continuing, does anyone even care? The obvious answer is NO, since there are no Jews to boycott in Syria.

There are now 8 times the number of Syrian refugees who have fled that country than all the Arabs displaced during the 1948 Arab war on Israel, and almost 10 times as many displaced within Syria. Sadly, the ineffective United Nations is so busy condemning Israel, that none of its organs nor the General Assembly have time to spend on the Syrian crisis.

The conflict in Syria takes a back seat to Ben and Jerry’s boycott of Israel.
The conflict in Syria takes a back seat to Ben and Jerry’s boycott of Israel.

Meanwhile, in Lebanon, Iran, through its proxy Hezbollah, has destroyed the country so badly that the one-time pearl of the Middle East now has serious shortages of water and electricity as well as many commodities. In fact, things are so bad that Lebanese citizens are moving into Palestinian Refugee camps in Lebanon for a better life. Again, since no Jews are involved, the social justice warriors can keep their focus on Israel where the Israeli Arabs have higher wages ($2,650/month) than any of 16 Arab countries other than the UAE ($3,235/month). Palestinians are ninth out of the 16 Arab countries ($698/month).

7) Why should there be a Jewish state?

Jews, like all other people, deserve the right to self-determination. That is the meaning of Zionism. Zionism does not affect the rights of other people. However, the same propaganda machine has been working overtime to redefine Zionism as racism. You can read about how Russia was able to manipulate the United Nations through the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Arab Block into redefining Zionism as racism, as just one of its antisemitic tactics.

Zionism as Jewish Nationalism
The manipulation of Zionism into Racism

Who are the indigenous people of the disputed lands of Judea and Samaria? The Canadian indigenous Metis activist Ryan Bellerose, who has made a career of studying various indigenous claims, says,

“Archaeology, genealogy, and history all support the Jewish claim to indigeneity.”

The claims made by Mittal and other social justice warriors are like saying the First Nations, Inuit, or Metis are “occupiers” of Canada. Go tell the Anishinaabe or Algonquin they are occupiers and colonizers. Or perhaps the Navajo Nation or Cherokee Nation, the two largest indigenous groups in the United States can also be referred to as “settlers.”

As for confirming the ancient and continuing Jewish presence in the land of Judea, one has only to read the Torah (Hebrew Bible), visit archeological sites or findings, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient coins with Hebrew inscriptions, buried Jewish cities or other physical proofs. Interestingly, of course there are zero ancient or even recent materials to support the idea of a Palestinian Arab country or culture.

Dead Sea Scrolls found in the Judean desert.
Dead Sea Scrolls found in the Judean desert.

Indigenous people are fighting for their rights all over the world. The right of self-determination of a people is recognized universally. There are few groups for which this right is being challenged, and few that have as much basis and evidence as the Jews, yet their rights are being denied. Jews are the indigenous people of Judaea and Samaria, and have recognized Jerusalem as their capital for over 2,000 years. The 1906 census of Jerusalem indicated there were 40,000 Jews, 13,000 Christians, 7,000 Muslims.

8) Doesn’t Jerusalem belong to the Arabs?

In the 7th Century, Mohammad, the Muslim prophet, is said to have flown one midnight to the seven heavens on a winged creature called Buraq. His departing point, as interpreted in today’s Muslim world, was the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. However, Mohammad died in 632 and the Al-Aqsa Mosque was completed in 705. As well, there is no evidence that Mohammad ever physically stepped foot in the land of Judea or Samaria. Mohammad, an Arab, came from the Hejaz in what is now Saudi Arabia. Unsurprisingly, the Quran does not mention Jerusalem even once by name throughout the whole book, let alone any claim to “ownership.”

The Jews have been the recorded inhabitants of Israel since 1,300-1,400 BC[DDB1] E. King Solomon built the first holy temple there in 1272 BCE. The land of the Jews had been invaded many times since. The invaders included the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, the Caliphate, Crusaders, Mamelukes, Ottoman (Turks), and the British. These colonizers tried to remove the Jews from their historical homeland and forbid them from returning. (Note, there has never been a “Palestinian” state there.)

Arabs from Jordan fought to keep the Jews out of Jerusalem in 1948 and illegally occupied the city.
Arabs from Jordan fought to keep the Jews out of Jerusalem in 1948 and illegally occupied the city.

The land of Judea and Samaria and the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem were illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967. Jews were forbidden from visiting much of their holy city of Jerusalem under this illegal Jordanian occupation. Under Jordanian occupation 58 synagogues were destroyed. During the Jordanian occupation no Arab leader other than King Hussein of Jordan ever visited Jerusalem nor did any Arab leader call for the creation of a Palestinian state.

9) Yet another Arab inspired boycott of Israel

Arab boycotts of Israel date back to 1945, several years before the Jewish people formally had a state. The Arab League started boycotting Palestinian Jewish products only five months after World War II ended. This was long before any occupation, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, apartheid claims or other (real or imaginary) transgressions. While these invented justifications for a commercial boycott of the Jewish state might sound righteous, it should be obvious by now that these boycotts – reserved for only one country in the world – are obviously antisemitic – the world’s oldest hatred.

News about the onset of the boycott of Jewish goods is announced in 1945. (Haaretz)
News about the onset of the boycott of Jewish goods is announced in 1945. (Haaretz)

The early boycotts against the Jews failed miserably. The first major company reported to capitulate to the Arab boycott was the French car maker Renault in 1959. The next major event was Coca-Cola in 1966 which, while claiming not to boycott Israel, refused to license its products in Israel. Pepsi soon became very popular in Israel. After Jewish organizations around the world initiated a boycott of Coca-Cola, a plant was opened in Bnei Brak, Israel in 1968.

So why worry about a Ben and Jerry’s boycott? This may be an opportunity. This could also be the perfect time for Haagen-Dazs to not just pick up market share in Israel, but in North America as well.

French car maker Renault surrenders to Arab boycott of Israel.
French car maker Renault surrenders to Arab boycott of Israel.

10) Time for ice cream

On reflecting on all of the facts, nothing would be better and more deserved than a refreshing bowl of ice cream. I hope you’ll enjoy a nice bowl of anything but Ben and Jerry’s. Baskin-Robbins, Chapman’s, Dairy Queen, Nestles, Breyers, Haagen-Dazs anyone?

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