Ben & Jerry’s Immoral Assault on Israel’s Zionism


By: Moshe Phillips

The Ben & Jerry’s boycott of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) echoes some of the darkest periods of recent Jewish history and must be called out as hateful and dangerous.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett responded to the announcement on Twitter, writing “Ben & Jerry’s decided to brand itself as anti-Israel ice cream. This is a moral mistake…” and he is correct.

This is a moral issue.

The effect on Israeli Jewish families not being able to buy Ben & Jerry’s in their local grocery stores is not what is at stake. Israelis can get along just fine without Ben & Jerry’s overpriced products

What is very much at stake is the moral assessment of Zionism that Ben & Jerry’s Judea and Samaria boycott implies.

Zionism is colonialism and Zionism is racism is what Ben & Jerry’s is saying.By extension what Ben & Jerry’s is also saying is that they believe Jews do not have the right to live in our ancestral Jewish homeland.

Hebron is the largest city in Judea and Samaria and the Jews who make their homes there are included in this ice cream boycott.

Within Hebron is the Cave of the Patriarchs that is detailed in the Bible. The Cave is the tomb of the three couples that were the first Jews: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah.

If the Jewish families who live now in Hebron are universally seen as committing an immoral act by just living in their homes than the rights of Jews to live anywhere is in jeopardy. It is really that simple.

Jews have been banned from living in Saudi Arabia for decades. Do the corporate leaders behind this immoral Ben & Jerry’s boycott believe that Jews should be similarly banned from Judea? Is it moral to make any territory Judenrein? The Palestinian State that Ben & Jerry’s would see created in Judea and Samaria would be as Judenrein as Saudi Arabia is now and as Judenrein as Hitler wanted Nazi Germany to be.

What’s more is that Jewish families in Judea and Samaria have been living there for nearly 50 years –would Ben & Jerry’s have these Jews be forcefully removed?

It must be said that many of these Jews are members of families that lived in these areas well before the establishment of modern Israel.

Just as a prior generation of young American Jews stood shoulder to shoulder and supported Russian Jews in their moral fight against Soviet tyranny and injustice, so must we today stand with the Jews of Judea and Samaria and support them at this moment when they need us.

Ben & Jerry’s was purchased in 2000 by global conglomerate Unilever and Unilever is fully culpable in this anti-Semitic boycott.

We can do much to fight Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s.

We should demand that the organizations that supply kosher supervision for Unilever’s products give the conglomerate 30 day notice that their supervision will be ending unless this boycott is cancelled. This will effect Hellmann’s, Knorr, and Lipton. KOF-K Kosher Supervision works with Ben & Jerry’s.

Also, retailers such as ShopRite must be told by Jewish organizations that we expect them to deny Ben & Jerry’s, Hellmann’s, and all of the others shelf space as long as they continue with this anti-Semitic boycott.

Lastly, we must support Jewish businesses that are in Judea and Samaria such as SodaStream and the many fine wineries that export wines to the US market.

Fred Taub, author of the 2010 book Boycotting Peace: Why Divestment Is Turning Truth On Its Head commented on the Ben & Jerry’s boycott saying: “When Nazi Germany was rising, where some German Jews that felt that if they stood against the Jewish community they would then be considered heroes to the Nazis, yet the Nazi’s murdered them too. Just the same, as anti-Semitism is becoming “in fashion” in progressive circles today, some Jews are once again looking for ways to stand out by finding new ways to be so-called heroes by criticizing Israel.”

Taub is right about this. Ben & Jerry’s would not boycott Jewish families in Judea and Samaria if the organized Jewish community in the United States had not allowed advocates of such anti-Zionist boycotts to stay inside our Big Tent. This can and should be corrected.

The time is now to educate our own about the moral correctness of Zionism. It is an imperative.

Moshe Phillips is national director of Herut North America’s U.S. division. Herut is an international movement for Zionist pride and education and its U.S. website is


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