MK Rotman: Don't boycott Ben & Jerry's

Religious Zionism party MK says Israeli company which owns the Ben & Jerry's brand will not boycott Judea and Samaria.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Simcha Rotman
Simcha Rotman
Arutz Sheva

MK Simcha Rotman of the Religious Zionism party called on the public not to boycott the Ben & Jerry's ice cream brand after the company announced it would no longer sell its products in Judea and Samaria.

"Do not stop consuming Ben & Jerry's ice cream, as long as Ben & Jerry's Israel owns the brand," said Rotman. "They deserve it for their insistence on not boycotting Judea and Samaria."

''The owners of Ben & Jerry's Global are Unilever. They own many brands in Israel, including Thelma, Strauss, Bagel Bagel and others. The ones who are supposed to handle a large international company that boycotts Judea and Samaria are Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett as well as Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, who are supposed to use the tools at their disposal, including removing Unilever from all government tenders until this decision is reversed," he added.

Rothman added: ''The era of multinational corporations is producing strange results. If you want to punish Ben & Jerry for the anti-Semitic decision (yes Mr. Foreign Minister, though not it is nor Hutu and Tutsi, it is still anti-Semitic), you should stop buying Strauss ice creams and buy more Ben & Jerry's ice creams made in Beer Tuvia by an Israeli company'.'

The company announced earlier Monday that "Ben & Jerry’s will end sales of our ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,"

"We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). We also hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners," the statement said,

"We have a longstanding partnership with our licensee, who manufactures Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel and distributes it in the region. We have been working to change this, and so we have informed our licensee that we will not renew the license agreement when it expires at the end of next year.

Although Ben & Jerry’s will no longer be sold in the OPT, we will stay in Israel through a different arrangement. We will share an update on this as soon as we’re ready," the ice cream company concluded.

Sources in Israel were quick to denounce the move, pointing out its hypocritical treatment of Israel and acquiescence to the BDS movement.

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked slammed the chain via a Twitter post, writing: "Your ice cream doesn't sit well with us anyway," and adding, "We'll be just fine without you."

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid responded to the move, saying: "Ben & Jerry's decision is a shameful surrender to anti-Semitism, BDS, to all that is evil in the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish discourse," adding, "We will not allow them to silence us."

"More than 30 American states have passed anti-BDS laws over the past years. I am going appeal to every one of them to [uphold their jurisdiction] and sanction Ben & Jerry's. They will not get away with treating us like this without encountering a response," concluded Lapid.

The Yesha Council responded to the decision by encouraging Israelis to boycott the ice cream chain in response to its anti-Semitic ruling.

"Unfortunately, Ben & Jerry's has decided to boycott Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley, and as a result force hundreds of Israeli employees in the south of the country out of their jobs. [We urge you to avoid doing business with companies boycotting hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens and offer our support for businesses who have refused to boycott a significant portion of our country]. We hope Ben & Jerry's goes back on its discriminatory ruling, which makes such a sweet field look so bad," it said in a statement.

"On hot summer days, we recommend that Israelis all over the country eat delicious, sweet Israeli-made ice creams, which don't support laying off hundreds of our employees," it added.

Mayor of the city of Ariel in Samaria, Eliyahu Shaviro, voiced his disappointment with the decision, writing:

"An unfortunate step by Ben & Jerry's. A populist and backwards decision stemming from a narrow world view that ignores the reality in which Israelis and Palestinians work side-by-side in numerous professional fields. We strongly denounce the policy of boycotts and call on Ben & Jerry's leadership to experience first-hand the fruitful cooperation [between Jews and Arabs], and get a taste of Israel's top home-made ice creams."

Spokeswoman of Samaria Regional Councilman, Yossi Dagan, Esther Silam Alush, quoted Dagan as saying: "Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria will continue to exist long after Ben & Jerry's has melted."

"We will not give up Samaria, the ancient kingdom of Israel, for ice cream," continued Dagan. "Nor will we compromise Joshua's alter or the ancient town of Shiloh for a McDonalds or hamburger," he said.

"The people of Samaria and this country will continue standing firm long after Ben & Jerry's is gone," continued Dagan.

"We will not give in to this anti-Semitism, which also permeates the [Jewish community] of the United States. I call on all residents of the State of Israel and Samaria, as well as all supporters of Israel overseas, to stop buying [Ben & Jerry's]. We will not succumb to threats from either left-wing NGOs or companies willing to boycott Israel in order to make certain individuals feel better. We will continue building in Samaria, enjoying a tradition of high-quality education and good ice cream - not necessarily Ben & Jerry's."

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote in response to the ruling, "Now we, Israelis, know which ice cream NOT to buy."

Israel activist and former Democratic New York State Assemblyman from Brooklyn's Assembly district 48, Dov Hikind, accused the ice cream firm of hypocrisy, posting: "But Ben & Jerry's will still sell their product in unoccupied Palestinian Territory despite the fact that if you’re LGBTQ there’s no way you can survive a day in Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin or Gaza! Because 'consistency'"…



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