After Ben & Jerry’s ended sales in certain parts of Israel, a Jewish franchise owner cited the move as a cause of low store traffic — and nevertheless vowed to donate a portion of his profits to Israel-based charities.
As The Daily Wire recently reported, the ice cream manufacturer — which frequently endorses left-leaning policies — revealed on July 19 that it would cease sales in areas purportedly “occupied” by Israelis:
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… 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.
Many franchise owners — including Joel Gasman of New York City — voiced their disapproval of the company’s boycott.
The New York Post reported:
Gasman, who runs the store on West 104th Street and Broadway, said he can’t stomach the boycott imposed last week in Israeli-occupied areas — claiming it’s caused his business in the Big Apple to tank.
But despite the dwindling sales, Gasman plans on serving up some just desserts — in the form of a 10-percent donation of his profits to fund educational causes in Israel in protest of the Vermont-based ice cream maker’s politics.
Gasman — a Jew who serves many Jewish customers — told the outlet that “we couldn’t sit back and watch without speaking up.”
“We’ve lost some foot traffic as well as bigger catering jobs that usually help us during the summer,” he added. “We’re getting bad reviews online that have nothing to do with the store, only in regards to corporate’s views … We felt like many people didn’t understand the nature of a franchise business and how small business owners are affected by their parent corporation’s views.”
Thirty-five states have enacted legislation against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel — a movement that many believe is rooted in anti-Semitism. Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid demanded that states enforce such laws against Ben & Jerry’s, declaring that the firm “will not treat the State of Israel like this without a response.”
Indeed, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announced that he would place Unilever — Ben & Jerry’s parent company — on the state’s Scrutinized Companies List.
“As you know, Florida has long had a strong relationship with the State of Israel,” DeSantis wrote to Ben & Jerry’s board. “As a matter of law and principle, the State of Florida does not tolerate discrimination against the State of Israel or the Israeli people, including boycotts and divestments targeting Israel.”