Ben & Jerry’s boycott isn’t antisemitic

Ben & Jerry's boycott of Israel is not antisemitic, nor does it represent a rejection of Israel.

By

Opinion

July 23, 2021 - 2:09 PM

A man buys Ben & Jerry's ice cream in Jerusalem on July 20, 2021. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

The most stunning thing about the Great Ice Cream War between Ben & Jerry’s and Israel is the explosive Israeli reaction.

Trudy Rubin is an op-ed columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. (Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

The ice cream maker, famous for social consciousness and iconic flavors like Chubby Hubby, announced Monday it was ending sales in “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” meaning Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But the announcement stipulated it would still sell ice cream inside Israel (meaning within the pre-1967 borders before Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza in the Six-Day War).

Yet the level of outrage from Israel’s leaders, across the political spectrum — and from many U.S. politicians and Jewish organizations — seemed more appropriate for Iran’s ayatollahs than the maker of frozen treats. “A new form of terrorism,” charged Israel’s president, Isaac Herzog, a former chairman of the left-leaning Labor Party. A “shameful surrender to antisemitism,” tweeted centrist Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. An “anti-Israel ice cream,” stated Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

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