| Ben & Jerry's has been a
signature brand of ice cream for decades, but Monday, July 19. 2021 they
announced they are removing their ice cream stores from what the media likes to
call Israel's West Bank and Israel calls Judea and Samara, two
regions of Biblical Israel that Jordan has relinquished its claim over. Since
then the Palestinian Authority has made a claim to that land, but without a
transfer of the claim from Jordan, thus Boycott Watch and international law
both see the PA claim as invalid.
While in 2018 Ben and Jerry's has
endorsed anti-Israel political figures such as Linda Sarsour who has called for
the dismantling of Israel, the pro-Israel crowd has taken offense to this
political action as a slap in the face to the Jewish community as a whole.
This is Ben & Jerry's joining the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions
(BDS) movement which is illegal according to US law which forbids US Persons
from taking part in illegal foreign boycotts said Fred Taub, President of
Boycott Watch. Taub wrote the book Boycotting Peace about the BDS
campaign, outlining why BDS is illegal in the US.
Ben and Jerry's
has made an awful miscalculation said Fred Taub, and continuing,
they read the tea leaves of a growing acceptable Jew-hated in the United
States and jumped on the band wagon thinking it would go
However, it did not go unnoticed, including from U.S.
franchise owners who are Jewish. We can't divulge names, but we understand some
pro-Israel Jewish franchise owners are addressing this as a concern to Ben
& Jerry's management. We also know that Israeli franchise owners and Jews
all over the world are upset too.
Boycott Watch has written several
article about how businesses always suffer when mixing their products with
politics. The simple fact is, getting political inherently draws a line between
two halves of your customer base, and offending customers is never a good
corporate policy. In this case, we believe Ben and Jerry's made a calculation
that offending the pro-Israel crowd is better than losing the 'woke' crowd as
customers. Regardless of how you slice it, the company is offending much of
their own customer base, and in this case, Jews who have traditionally like Ben
and Jerry's ice cream because it is a good product that is certified kosher are
already calling for a global boycott of the ice cream, and that is never a good
The reaction in the Jewish community is far beyond a simple
boycott. Seasons Supermarket, Aron's Kissena Farms, Kosher Kingdom Food Market
in Australia and hundreds of other companies have pulled Ben and Jerry's ice
cream from their shelves. The list is growing and it proves two things: First,
that participating in political boycotts has ramifications; and second, that
Jews quickly respond to hate, and this time globally.
Within 24 hours,
Israel, Prime Minister Bennet warned Unilever, a major US conglomerate and the
parent company of Ben and Jerry's, about the boycott. Bennet has also called
upon US states that have enacted anti-BDS laws to prosecute Ben and Jerry's for
their actions. While US Jews are overwhelmingly boycotting Ben and Jerry's, if
Bennet calls for a total boycott of Unilever, it will certainly be followed by
Jews all over the world. Boycott Watch believes that a Jewish boycott of
Unilever will hurt Unilever's bottom line tremendously considering the number
of Unilever products and the number of pro-Israel consumers
Boycott Watch believes Unilever will cave on this issue. While
Jews won't be buying Ben and Jerry's anymore regardless of the outcome, a
general Unilever boycott will prevent a total boycott of the conglomerate, and
their products including Hellmann's Mayonnaise, Lipton Tea, Dove, several ice
cream brands and many other products. At the same time, many Jews are calling
for the kosher certification of Ben and Jerry's to be revoked.
Watch will continue to watch and report on this issue.