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THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Ben & Jerry’s, the company that serves social consciousness with globs of cookie dough, cherries and chunky monkeys in its ice cream, will stop selling to Israel-occupied territories.  

Israel vowed “severe consequences, legal and otherwise” and appeared angrier for raising questions about the West Bank and other areas the country has controlled for decades instead of the minimal economic impact the ban should have on it.

“There are many ice cream brands but only one Jewish state. Ben & Jerry’s has decided to brand itself as the anti-Israel ice cream,” said Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in response.

Ben & Jerry’s also discontinued its license agreement with its Israeli manufacturer when it expires at the end of next year. It will continue to sell to Israel through a different arrangement the company will explain at a later date.

“We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” the company said in a statement. 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his own ban on Cherry Garcia even though he called (literally) Ben & Jerry “good people.” Kosher grocery stores across the U.S. dropped the ice cream from its shelves hours after Monday’s announcement. The Zionist Organization of America called the move “anti-semetic.” 

Supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, “warmly welcomed” Ben & Jerry’s move but also asked the company to ban sales in Israel. The movement calls consumers to bring economic pressure on Israel’s government and companies “complicit” in what they call the country’s abuse of Palestinian human rights. Palestinians cheered the decision, and the Palestinian Foreign Ministry described it as “moral” and “legal.” 

A day after the company’s announcement, the Biden administration didn’t comment on Ben & Jerry’s but rejected the movement, which the U.S. State Department said unfairly singled out Israel. 

“While the Biden-Harris administration will fully and always respect the First Amendment rights of our citizens, of the American people, the United States will be a strong partner in fighting efforts around the world that potentially seek to delegitimize Israel,” said Ned Price, spokesman for the state department. 

MEDIA PERSPECTIVES

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

Grounding Your Brand Activism in the Needs of Marginalized Communities – Ad Week – 7/21/2021
Grounding your brand activism in the needs of marginalized communities. 

Ben & Jerry’s unjust desserts: A bad move in Israel – New York Daily News – 7/21/2021
For an American company like Ben & Jerry’s, the decision to align with the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a movement that has been denounced by both major U.S. political parties as well as the majority of states as just another in the long history of boycotts against Jews, is not only shameful; it is possibly illegal.

Not just Ben & Jerry’s: BDS efforts to get companies to boycott Israel – Haaretz – 7/21/2021
The global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign has been lobbying intensely for close to two decades for companies to stop doing business with West Bank settlements, and even with Israel itself. But its record of success has been at best spotty.

Tomi Lahren on Ben & Jerry’s decision to nix West Bank sales: I wish companies sold products instead of virtue – Fox News – 7/20/2021
Tomi Lahren bashed Ben & Jerry’s for refusing to sell its ice cream in the West Bank. The Fox Nation host told “Fox & Friends First,” Tuesday, that companies should avoid this type of activism and stick to focusing on the selling of products

Israel Urges 35 States To Punish Ben & Jerry’s: ‘Its Antisemitic Decision Will Have Consequences’ – The Daily Wire – 7/21/2021
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations and the United States, sent letters to 35 governors whose states have laws against anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaigns, urging them to take action against Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for engaging in the anti-Semitic campaign against Israel.

Basecamp banned political discussions in the office. Ben & Jerry’s cofounders say companies have a responsibility to get political – Business Insider – 5/1/2021
Greenfield said that the Peace Pop was Ben & Jerry’s first major foray into activism, and the decision faced some controversy, even inside the business.

More corporations need to be like Ben & Jerry’s – The Breeze – 4/24/2021
The ice cream company has a tab dedicated to its values on the website’s homepage. Racial justice, democracy, LGBTQ+ equality and climate justice are a few of the issues the corporation states it cares about and advocates for. The morals and political viewpoints of Ben & Jerry’s are made known to consumers on its website and on the products they sell.

INFLUENCER PERSECTIVES

This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.

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