Lapid slams ‘antisemitic’ Ben & Jerry’s move to stop selling in settlements
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Lapid slams ‘antisemitic’ Ben & Jerry’s move to stop selling in settlements

The ice cream giant said on Monday that carrying on with its current arrangement would be 'inconsistent with our values'

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid has denounced the decision by Ben & Jerry’s to stop selling its products in West Bank settlements as a “disgraceful capitulation”.

He said he would seek further measures against the US ice cream maker after it announced on Monday that it was responding to “the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners”.

The decision was hailed by BDS, the Israel boycott movement.

“Ben & Jerry’s decision is a disgraceful capitulation to antisemitism, to BDS, to all that is evil in the anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish discourse,” Lapid said in a statement.

“We won’t be silent. Over 30 states in the United States have passed anti-BDS legislation in recent years.

“I plan on asking each of them to enforce these laws against Ben & Jerry’s. So they won’t treat us in such ways.”

The ice cream maker had earlier said it believed it was “inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).”

It said it was ending its Israeli distributor’s licence next year but that its products would stay in Israel under a different arrangement.

Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett said the decision showed Ben & Jerry’s had decided to rebrand as an “antisemitic ice cream” while his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted: “Now we Israelis know which ice cream NOT to buy.”

Ben & Jerry’s owners are both Jewish, and have long sided with so-called progressive causes in the US.

In 2018 they received criticism for promoting the Women’s March and Linda Sarsour—Women’s March board member— who is a BDS supporter who once tweeted “Nothing is creepier than Zionism.”

Today the company operates globally as a fully owned subsidiary of Unilever.

It has faced calls to stop selling their produce in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem for over a decade.

A Ben & Jerry’s tweet in May 2021 asking “Any mint lovers out there?” prompted hundreds of responses from around the world criticising the company for selling their ice cream outside the original boundaries of Israel and in Israeli settlements located in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments