Erris Langer Klapper
Erris Langer Klapper

Why I’m bidding farewell to Ben & Jerry’s and their half baked morals

Credit: Erris Langer Klapper

On Monday, Ben & Jerry’s decision to boycott what they describe as “the occupied Palestinian territory” made headlines. Apparently, the Board intended to boycott all of Israel, but Unilever, their parent company, blocked their *half-baked idea (Sorry. I couldn’t *resist).

Foreign Minister Lapid called the decision “a shameful capitulation to anti-Semitism.” Prime Minister Bennett stated, “This is a moral mistake and I believe it will turn out to be a business mistake as well.” But Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List of Arab parties, tweeted a photo of himself shoveling in some Ben & Jerry’s in support of the decision. Let’s sit with that image for a moment: Odeh is a duly elected leader and part of a government that resulted from a democratic election. Imagine if the situation was reversed and this *Chubby Hubby was a Jew running for office in one of the neighboring Arab countries? Not a chance, as Jews were expelled from every Arab country, and the few who managed to remain are not likely to flaunt their Judaism, or run for public office.

Israel, a democracy that welcomes Arabs into the mainstream political process, can hardly be dubbed an apartheid state, yet the woke mob has managed to entice millions onto their misguided bandwagon in the name of social justice. Unfortunately, this brand of *Justice ReMix’d is nothing short of veiled anti-Semitism. Under this new hyper-vigilant form of act-first, think-later social justice, historical facts don’t matter, legal definitions are irrelevant and the consequences of BDS, such as hurting Palestinian workers (remember Soda Stream?) are ignored.

Oftentimes when run-of-the-mill “activists” are interviewed and asked simple questions regarding the geopolitics of the region, they’re unable to compose a coherent answer. This becomes even more dangerous when elected public officials, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are obsessively hyper-focused on the plight of only one people. When asked in an interview if she could elaborate on her use of the term “occupation,” she fumbled and conceded that she doesn’t know enough about the region. It never ceases to amaze me that people are willing to wholeheartedly support a cause without fully understanding the issues. Does the ignorant mob understand that “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free,” and a two-state solution are incompatible ideologies? Do they comprehend that the former means cleansing Israel of all Jews, and only the latter makes moral sense?

Isn’t it shocking that in 2021 it has become mainstream to support the annihilation of the Jewish state that was founded after a legal process took place in the United Nations? Perhaps not shocking at all: Jews are arguably the world’s most popular scapegoats. Many argue that criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitic and in line with criticism of any other country, and that should theoretically be true. No government is perfect. But consistently focusing on Israel while ignoring every other perceived or real human rights violation around the globe, constitutes targeted and systemic anti-Semitism.

Why isn’t Ben & Jerry’s deeply concerned about the treatment of Uighurs in China? For years now, the Chinese government has forcibly incarcerated over one million Uighurs, who are a Muslim minority, in “re-education camps” where torture and starvation are the norm. Human rights groups have submitted reports to the UN outlining systemic gang rape and use of torture instruments. In a bone-chilling interview on BBC, a former cleaning staff employee recounted what she witnessed, yet I don’t hear the four congresswomen known as “Squad” standing up for their Muslim sisters (and brothers) in China. Instead, they prefer to focus all their energy on bashing Israel.

Why isn’t the Ben & Jerry’s board issuing statements regarding Hamas’s launching of thousands of rockets at innocent civilians? Why isn’t Ben & Jerry’s condemning Hezbollah’s unprovoked attack on Northern Israel this past week? Why isn’t Ben & Jerry’s concerned about Yemen, Boko Haram, Syria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Nigeria, India, and Pakistan, to name just a few groups and regions where thousands of innocent civilians have been kidnapped and tortured or lost their lives?

Generally, I believe that boycotts ultimately hurt innocent employees who rely on their wages, especially during difficult economic times. But this time, I’ve had enough. As Prime Minister Bennett said, there’s plenty of ice cream, but we only have one country.” So although I could use some *chocolate therapy for the rest of this summer, and for the rest of my life, I’ll be saying goodbye to both Ben and Jerry. You just ain’t worth the hypocrisy.

*Ben & Jerry’s flavors are denoted with an asterisk

About the Author
Erris is an attorney, wife and mom. She is a blogger for Times of Israel, and her articles have been featured in various publications including Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, Town & Country, Elle Decor, Country Living, Woman's Day, Redbook, Esquire, Yahoo News, Beyond Your Blog, YourTango, The Jewish Chronicle, Algemeiner, SheSavvy, Kveller, Parent Co, The Mighty, Grown and Flown, Mogul, Beliefnet, All4Women, the Journal of Educational Gerontology, Her View From Home, The Good Men Project and Scary Mommy. Please follow the links to her social media accounts.
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