With several Kosher supermarkets taking Ben & Jerrys’ ice-cream tubs off the shelves, and politicians calling for a widespread ban of the same, the global Jewish diaspora is furious over the company’s recent announcement declaring that it would no longer sell its products in “Occupied Palestinian Territory”.
Despite being founded by two Jews, the left-leaning ice-cream makers infuriated Israel advocates who claimed that the decision was an unfair attack on Israel and disappointing pro-Palestinian advocates who said the company should have gone farther.
Reacting to the announcement, Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, “Now we Israelis know which ice cream NOT to buy. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called the decision a “boycott of Israel” and said Ben and Jerry’s “decided to brand itself as an anti-Israel ice cream.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called the decision a “shameful surrender to antisemitism, to BDS and to all that is wrong with the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish discourse.” He called on US states to take domestic action against Ben and Jerry’s based on state laws that prohibit government contracting with entities that boycott Israel.
In America, the Anti-Defamation League said it was “disappointed” by the move, adding, “You can disagree with policies without feeding into dangerous campaigns that seek to undermine Israel” but refraining from calling for specific actions.
Kosher markets across the US, including the Glatt Express Supermarket in Teaneck, New Jersey, announced via Facebook that it would no longer carry Ben & Jerry’s products following the company’s announcement. Other markets that joined in also included Aron’s Kissena Farms, a kosher market in Queens, and several Jewish residents requested kosher certifier KOF-K to remove Ben & Jerry’s kosher certification.