Morton Williams & Other NY Stores Pull Ben & Jerry’s Over Israel Boycott

Morton Williams Supermarkets calls on retailers to reduce or ban Ben & Jerry’s products over anti-Israel announcement. (Shutterstock)

By: Batya Jerenberg

Several supermarket chains in the New York area announced Monday that they are pulling Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream from their shelves in immediate response to the company’s decision to stop selling their products in the “occupied Palestinian territories”’ as soon as their local franchise’s license runs out in December 2022.

Seasons, a kosher, upscale chain with stores in New York and New Jersey, sent out a message to its customers Monday evening, saying, “Seasons has removed all Ben and Jerry’s products from all its stores as a result of the ice cream maker’s decision to cease sales in parts of Israel. We stand with Israel. Always.”

The board of directors of Morton Williams Supermarkets quickly met and decided that their 15 stores in the city that never sleeps (and one in New Jersey) would cut 70% of its B&J products, the New York Post reported Tuesday. Co-owner Avi Kaner told the daily that his shops would also stop promoting the brand in its circulars and put what was left in “the least desirable locations” of the freezer section.

While unwilling to alienate certain customers by a complete ban, Kaner said he would work to create a domino effect to send a “strong message” to B&J.

“Of all the places in the world to boycott, Ben & Jerry’s has chosen to target the one Jewish nation in the world,” he said. The company, he added, is “reaching out to other major retailers and distributors in the hope that they will follow suit.”

Meanwhile, taking to his personal online account, he tweeted out, “Please try Haagen-Dazs ice cream – you’ll love it!”

Others outraged at the anti-Israel message are also thinking in broader terms. In a move that would automatically remove B&J from the shelves of all stores that serve a high percentage of Orthodox clientele, social activists have begun calling KOF-K Kosher to ask that the organization pull its kashruth certification from the ice cream. They are also requesting that other certifications refuse to service Ben and Jerry’s as substitutes.

Two popular big groceries, Aron’s Kissena Farms in Queens, and Glatt Express Supermarket in Teaneck, N.J., aren’t waiting and announced that they have already removed the ice cream from their shelves in support of the Jewish state.

A number of other stores in the New York region that carry Ben & Jerry’s have followed suit as well as Kosher Kingdom in Melbourne, Australia.

The heaviest guns may be laws that are already on the books in many American states, as noted by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

“Ben and Jerry’s decision is a shameful surrender to anti-Semitism, to BDS, to all the evil in the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish discourse,” he said.

“We will not keep quiet. More than 30 states in the United States have laws against surrendering to BDS that have passed in recent years. I plan to go one by one and demand that they enforce these laws against Ben & Jerry’s because they will not treat us in this way without encountering a response.”


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