“In adopting anti-Israel antisemitism, the political left has, more than it ever did with any other intellectual and programmatic stance, finally found common cause with an enormous part of humanity…the developing world’s people and the downtrodden have, for the left, de facto become the substitute of working class…the Palestinians have become an agreed upon and unifying symbol” (The Devil that Never Dies. Daniel Jonah Goldhagen. 2013). Ben & Jerry’s “decision” to boycott “occupied territory” is a leftist attempt at reducing Israel to a non-entity. A common ploy by the ant-Semitic globalists. A question that if we throw enough mud some of it might stick. If I were Israel, I would tell Ben and Jerry’s to take a hike.
Although the company’s name is still reminiscent of Jewish-American founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the company has been multinational since Unilever took it over in 2000 at a “downtrodden” price of $326 million. The brand started the slow migration toward leftist propaganda and narrative ever since. This week this conglomerate decided to throw their cone and spoon into the BDS pit of anti-Israel rhetoric by announcing that their “values” are inconsistent with that of Israel’s “occupation” of Judea and Samaria. If Ben, Jerry, or the rest of Unilever pinheads had given it a second thought, they would have realized the ignorant implication of that statement.
Judea and Samaria are connected to the Jewish people biblically and historically. Samaria is the region north of Jerusalem and Judah to the south. Cities like Hebron, Shiloh, Shechem, and Bethel, hold biblical and important chronicled significance to Jews. It wasn’t until 135 CE that Hadrian exiled Jews from the region until their gradual return some 1,700 years later. Small Jewish communities returned to the land of their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and David. They gradually started to work the swamps and deserts into agricultural havens in anticipation of a homeland.
In 1929, in an attempt to vacate the Jews in Hebron, Arabs massacred 67 Jews and destroyed synagogues and homes, prompting the remaining Jews to flee to Jerusalem. During the War of Independence, Jordan moved into the Judea/Samaria region and remained until the end of the war, until an armistice was struck with Israel with the assistance of the international community in anticipation of a permanent Jewish state. But Jordan renegaded from that agreement and annexed the Judean Samarian region renaming it the West Bank. A reference to the River Jordan. When in 1967, Jordan attacked Israel, Israeli troops forced enemy forces back out of Judea and Samaria in two days, regaining control of their legitimate land. The dispute has been ongoing ever since.
The ignorance and arrogance of companies like Ben & Jerry’s surpasses common explanation of the blatant hatred for Israel. Their tongue-in-cheek announcement that they will keep selling their mediocre product in Israel, is not only patronizing but offensive. How good of them. Israel does not need to bend to any food company aligned with the most insidious anti-Semite organization: BDS. Israel should tell Ben & Jerry’s to let its ice cream melt where the sun doesn’t shine.
According to World Israel News, Ben & Jerry’s were “blasted” for not supporting the Palestinians during the 11-day May war. Obviously, Ben & Jerry’s and BDS have a problem with short term memory, or they would have remembered that it was Hamas that fired the first volley of the 3,000 or so missiles that eventually rained on Israel. Convenient memory loss seems to run rampart among the loony left. However, UPI reports that it was the Vermonters for Justice in Palestine that put the pressure on the company. VTJP member Kathy Shapiro does not think that moving out of “occupied territory” is enough. She wants the company to stop all sales to Israel which is “…complicit in the killing, imprisonment and dispossession of Palestinians and flaunting of international law.” Ms. Shapiro must be mistaking Israel for China. She needs to spin her globe again.
Israel is the latest target in political propaganda by this pseudo intellectual activist brand. Ben & Jerry’s supported defunding the police and to quote from World Israel News, the “dismantling of the prison industrial complex”. I guess Ben & Jerry’s misses out on the rising crime rate in all major US cities, especially Chicago where hundreds are shot and killed. Mostly people of color by people of color. In a city with the strictest gun laws, it seems that only the bad guys are allowed to carry guns. I presume to suggest that these murders do not fall under Ben and Jerry’s criteria of “racist policy”.
But the question remaining is: why do we care what Ben & Jerry’s think? Most of us with a measure of intelligence do not give a scoop what a company thinks. Unfortunately, there is more Ben & Jerry’s hateful narrative that hides nefarious intentions and tropes: anti-Semitism disguised as human rights activism with the single systemic aim at diminishing Israel’s position in the geopolitical global community. A global community silent on Cuba and China but on high octane when mentioning Israel.
BDS is dangerous because it specifically singles out one state, the only Jewish state. Its narrative of human rights abuses and the now all too favorite “flavor” of the month “apartheid” is aimed solely at Israel. To an intelligent mind, the thought of calling Israel an Apartheid State is ludicrous, but intelligent minds have become few and far between. It’s all in the narrative that if repeated often and long enough it becomes truth. Mainstream media lends a hand through marginalized biased “reporting”, that favors the “poor” Palestinians and vilifies Israel. Israel has a public relations image problem. But that’s a story for another day.
The Ben & Jerry’s of this world and their BFF’s BDS do not go after North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Syria, China, and other human rights villains. Ben & Jerry’s do not seem to have a problem with their “values” in China. China holds over a million Uyghur Muslims in camps to indoctrinate and then use in slave labor for large global corporations like Nike and Apple. China’s central government put people in jail for protesting in Hong Kong. Possibly that is not enough for Ben & Jerry’s to pull out of either mainland China or Hong Kong. The silence is deafening. The treatment of Tibetans and Taiwan also seems to have remained off the raider for Ben & Jerry’s. They must be busy discovering another flavor.
Israel needs Ben & Jerry’s like it needs a hole in its head. Remember Starbucks? It took a hike. Why? Because Israelis didn’t particularly like either the price or the taste. They liked the environment even less. Stuffy chairs and dark coffee shops more native to rainy Seattle than sunny Tel-Aviv. Aroma took over and the rest is history. The land of the highest number of patents in the world is not going to be brought down to its knees by a company with few sustainable morals and less in integrity. A company that picks and chooses who to punish for alleged human rights violations needs to churn its own disingenuous truth into financial oblivion.
Israel leads the world in science and technology, and Ben & Jerry’s leads the world in political whipped fluff. Israel does not need to import ice cream from anywhere. It has artisans and entrepreneurs that can blend, mix, freeze, and scoop better than any brand on the market. Israelis have gone through enough angst without getting an ulcer over the pull out of Ben & Jerry’s. Loosing Ben & Jerry’s is as painful as a relative who decides to quit visiting. You liked them but their absence does not stop anyone from getting on with their lives. So, I say, goodbye Ben & Jerry’s, you shall be missed for a while, until something better comes along. It always does.
Goldhagen, D. J. (2013). The Devil That Never Dies. The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism