Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, named for its two leftist founders and owned by Unilever since 2000, announced on Monday that they would no longer sell ice cream in the two ancient Biblical parts of Israel, Judea and Samaria, writing that it was “inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
Their statement read:
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.
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.
Ben & Jerry’s has issued provocative public statements for years; in April, in the wake of the shooting of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Ben & Jerry’s tweeted that America’s police system “can’t be reformed” and “must be dismantled.”
Ben & Jerry’s wrote, “The murder of #DaunteWright is rooted in white supremacy and results from the international criminalization of Black and Brown communities. This system can’t be reformed. It must be dismantled and a real system of public safety rebuilt from the ground up. #DefundThePolice.”
In 2017, hopping mad at Australia for not accepting same-sex marriage as the law of the land, Ben and Jerry’s revenged itself on the Aussies by banning customers from having two scoops of the same flavor; 26 stores in Australia were targeted. The statement from Ben and Jerry’s read:
Imagine heading down to your local Scoop Shop to order your favorite two scoops of Cookie Dough in a waffle cone. But you find out you are not allowed – Ben & Jerry’s has banned two scoops of the same flavor. You’d be furious! But this doesn’t even begin to compare to how furious you would be if you were told you were not allowed to marry the person you love. So we are banning two scoops of the same flavor and encouraging our fans to contact their MPs to tell them that the time has come – make same sex marriage legal! Love comes in all flavours!
That wasn’t all; in case you didn’t get the message, post boxes emblazoned with rainbows were scheduled to be featured in each Australian store because Ben and Jerry’s wanted customers to write a postcard to their MP urging them to support same-sex marriage.
Ben and Jerry’s promised: “We will make sure that the postcards are delivered before the final parliamentary session on June 13th, before the budget is announced –We see this as the next opportunity for to achieve marriage equality, so we need to act NOW! At Ben & Jerry’s we love love, and we think most Australians do too. More Australians than ever before believe everyone should have the right to love who they love – and marry them too, if that’s what makes you happy. Let’s make it happen!”
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the founders of the ice cream chain, were ardent leftists, having initially supported Occupy Wall Street with statements like this:
As a board and as a company we have actively been involved with these issues for years but your efforts have put them out front in a way we have not been able to do. We have provided support to citizens’ efforts to rein in corporate money in politics, we pay a livable wage to our employees, we directly support family farms and we are working to source fairly traded ingredients for all our products. But we realize that Occupy Wall Street is calling for systemic change. We support this call to action and are honored to join you in this call to take back our nation and democracy.