Israeli envoy accuses Ben & Jerry of ‘ignorance and hypocrisy’ for boycott against Israel

October 12, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Ben & Jerry’s co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield displayed “ignorance and hypocrisy” in a recent interview on the company’s decision to boycott Judea and Samaria, Israel’s Ambassador to the US and United Nations Gilad Erdan charged, threatening further action against the company.

Gilad Erdan, MK for The Likud Party, Minister of Public Security, Minister of Strategic Affairs and Minister of Information, speaks at the 16th annual Jerusalem Conference of the ‘Besheva’ group, which takes place at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem. Jerusalem, Feb 11, 2019. Photo by Esty Dziubov/TPS

Unilever, which owns the global Ben & Jerry’s, stated in July that it was ending sales in Israel as “we believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

Avi Zinger, the Israeli license owner, refused Ben and Jerry’s demand to withdraw his sales from Judea and Samaria.

Speaking to Axios political reporter Alexi McCammond on their action against Israel, Ben and Jerry admitted that they did not think about holding states like Georgia and Texas accountable when they pass laws with which they disagree and are not taking action as they did with Israel.

McCammond asked: “You guys are big proponents of voting rights. Why do you still sell ice cream in Georgia? Texas — abortion bans. Why are you still selling there?”

“I don’t know,” Cohen said. “It’s an interesting question. I don’t know what that would accomplish. We’re working on those issues, of voting rights. … I think you ask a really good question. And I think I’d have to sit down and think about it for a bit.”

When pressed on the Texas limits on women’s access to abortion, Cohen said that “by that reasoning, we should not sell any ice cream anywhere. I’ve got issues with what’s being done in almost every state and country.”

“One thing that’s different is that what Israel is doing is considered illegal by international law. And so I think that’s a consideration,” Greenfield attempted to reason.

Responding to the interview, Erdan stated Monday that “the ignorance and hypocrisy of Ben and his partner Jerry scream to heavens.”

“Part of the definition of anti-Semitism is precisely to demand from Israel what is not required of any other entity in the world, and Mr. Ben and Jerry have no problem with their ice cream being sold to supporters of terrorism as well, but they are boycotting Israel,” he charged.

“I will continue to work so that as many states as possible include Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever on their blacklist until this despicable boycott is stopped,” he vowed.

Some 35 states in the US have anti-Israel boycott laws, and so far four, including Arizona and Texas, have announced they are taking action or considering divesting from Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s parent company.

New Jersey has announced that it was on the path to follow suit, and New York, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, and Rhode Island have launched similar proceedings.

Greenfield claimed that those states’ decisions are based on “misinformation” that Unilever is boycotting Israel, “which is not the case at all. It’s not boycotting Israel in any way,” he claimed.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog stated in July that “the boycott against Israel is a new type of terrorism, economic terrorism, terrorism that seeks to harm Israeli citizens and the Israeli economy. We must oppose this boycott and terrorism of any kind,”

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