Vintage bus with Ben and Jerry’s logo at their manufacturing plant in Vermont. (Credit: James R. Martin/Shutterstock.com)
Sure, Ben and Jerry’s makes some delicious ice cream, but the Jewish owners have political views that are even more complicated than some of their bizarre recipes.
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, childhood friends from New York, opened their first ice cream parlor in 1978 in Burlington, Vermont. As their names suggest, they are both Jewish. They began mass producing their unique flavors two years later. In 1987, they created Cherry Garcia, becoming the first ice cream company to name an ice cream after a rock star.
From the outset, the two ice cream entrepreneurs were interested in far more than cold cash. In 1994, Fred “Chico” Lager, a former CEO of the company, wrote “Ben & Jerry’s: The Inside Scoop” describing how the company was intended to be an expression of the founders’ social conscience. This was expressed by donating to charities but also by taking a stand against things like the use of bovine hormones in the dairy products they used a tnd inheir environmentally friendly cardboard containers. In 2005, they protested the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling by creating the world’s largest Baked Alaska (900 pounds of ice cream and meringue) and placing it on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building.
Their ice cream is universally regarded as delicious but their political agendas have gotten the company into hot water. In 2014, the Australian government accused the company of exaggerating the impact of government programs on the Barrier Reef when they signed onto “Fight for the Reef” campaign. In May 2017, Ben and Jerry’s announced they would not serve two scoops of the same ice cream flavor in Australia, due to the refusal of the Australian government to legalize same-sex marriage.
When it comes to domestic politics, their position is clear. During the last election, they created a new flavor, Bernie’s Yearning, in support of their candidate, Bernie Sanders, whom they preferred over Hillary Clinton. Cohen and Greenfield put their money where their mouth was and got arrested during the Democracy Awakening protests at the U.S. Capitol building in April 2016.
But when it comes to Israel, the two Jewish ice cream scoopers are getting heat from both sides of the issue. The company recently celebrated 40 years of totally kosher ice cream in Israel by giving out free cones. The same social values that guide their Vermont venture are also strongly present in their Israeli operation.
“Ben & Jerry’s corporate organization, based in the U.S., does not retain any profits from the business in Israel,” their website proudly states. “The company remains committed to contributing 100% of the net licensing fee to foster multicultural programs and values-led ingredient sourcing initiatives in the region.”
But their Holy Land stance, altruistic as it is, has earned them the ire of anti-Israel groups. In 2012, Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel (VTJP) contacted the owners after learning that their ice cream was being sold in Israeli settlements Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. Leafleting occurred at locations in Vermont, New York, and California on ‘Free Cone Day’ in April 2013, and April 2014. As of November 2014, 232 organizations across the United States and in seventeen countries worldwide have signed a letter written by VTJP calling on Ben & Jerry’s to end its commercial ties to these areas of Israel. So far, the company has refused to capitulate to the anti-Israel groups and continues to sell ice cream in Israel.
Their liberal agenda now has them partnering with anti-Israel elements. They recently announced a new flavor, Pecan Resist. The name of the new flavor is explained on the website:
“We honor & stand with women, immigrants, people of color, & the millions of activists and allies who are courageously resisting the President’s attack on our values, humanity, & environment.”
“This flavor supports groups creating a more just and equitable nation for us all, and who are fighting President Trump’s regressive agenda,” the company said upon unveiling the new flavor in Washington, D.C.
The company is donating proceeds from the flavor to four charities that, according to Ben and Jerry’s, “are working hard to defend and progress a more inclusive society, focusing on racial and gender equity, climate change, LGBTQ rights, and refugee and immigrant rights.”
One of the recipients, Women’s March, puts the company’s new political agenda at odds with its previously pro-Israel stance. Ostensibly an organization to advocate for women’s rights, Women’s March is run by two women who are certainly anti-Israel and are no friends to Jews.
One of the group’s leaders is Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian American, who openly supports Sharia law, the Islamic Brotherhood and has called for “Jihad” against president Trump. Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, co-chair of the group, are strong supporters of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has referred to Jews as “termites” and praised Hitler’s genocide. Sarsour was a strong supporter of Rasmeah Odeh, who was imprisoned in Israel for her role in a bombing that killed two Israelis.
Her role as a leader in the feminist movement came into question after she verbally attacked Somali-born activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a victim of female genital mutilation, and Brigitte Gabriel, the head of a conservative lobbying group. Ali criticized Islam, saying it was misogynistic. Sarsour tweeted, “ “She’s asking 4 an a$$ whippin’. I wish I could take their vaginas away – they don’t deserve to be women.
The University of Cape Town campus. Photo: Adrian Frith via Wikimedia Commons.
The University of Cape Town, the top-ranking academic institution in Africa, is set to consider enforcing an academic boycott against Israel later this month.
The UCT Senate, a decision-making body comprised primarily of professors and administrators, endorsed a proposal on March 15 to bar the university from entering into any formal relationship with Israeli academic institutions that operate “in the occupied Palestinian territories,” or otherwise enable “gross human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the university said in a statement.
The campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
JNS.org – Students at Brown University voted overwhelmingly in favor of a referendum held between Tuesday and Thursday, calling on the school to separate itself from companies that conduct business with the State of Israel.
The tally was 69 percent in favor and 31 percent against.
Members of the pro-Israel community nationally and locally condemned the outcome.
“For the sake of My servant Yaakov, Yisrael My chosen one, I call you by name, I hail you by title, though you have not known Me.” Isaiah 45:4 (The Israel Bible™)
Many have seen similarities between the Biblical King Cyrus and President Donald Trump. (Breaking Israel News)
After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!
Many are claiming this was a pre-election gift to Trump’s friend, Netanyahu, but it others see a much larger significance that transcends politics and enters into the realm of the Biblical. One such belief was expressed by Breaking Israel News publisher Rabbi Tuly Weisz, who noted that the announcement came on the Jewish holiday of Purim.
“The same days on which the Yehudim enjoyed relief from their foes and the same month which had been transformed for them from one of grief and mourning to one of festive joy. They were to observe them as days of feasting and merrymaking, and as an occasion for sending gifts to one another and presents to the poor.” Esther 9:22 (The Israel Bible™)
If there was ever a quintessentially Jewish holiday, it’s Purim, when the Jewish people were threatened by Haman, a descendant of Amalek, and saved by God’s hidden hand. Even so, we find examples of people from the Nations being inspired by the story of Purim and even gathering to mark the day alongside the Jewish people.
Protesters waving Turkish and Palestinian flags shout anti-Israel slogans during a demonstration in Amsterdam June 4, 2010. Israel’s raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla has set off a diplomatic furor, drawing criticism from friends and foes alike and straining ties with regional ally Turkey, which cal. (photo credit: REUTERS)
AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Demonstrators carrying Palestinian flags turned their backs on a Dutch chief rabbi during his eulogy at a vigil for Muslims killed in New Zealand.
The incident Sunday happened as Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs was discussing the meaning of a minute of silence at the gathering at the Dam Square World War II memorial monument. Thousands of people, many of them Muslims, gathered at the square to commemorate the 49 people slain Friday by a far-right killer at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Hamas is now accusing the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah of exploiting the economic crisis in the Gaza Strip to call on Palestinians to overthrow the Hamas regime. Fatah, for its part, is accusing the “dark forces” of Hamas of acting on orders from outside parties to establish a separate Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip.
The US administration says it will publish its long-awaited plan for peace in the Middle East, known as the “Deal of the Century,” after the general elections in Israel on April 9
There is a difference between an “honest broker” and a “neutral arbiter.” In advance of the rollout of its Middle East peace plan, the Trump administration has taken a series of steps to ensure its role as the honest broker. The U.S. is not “neutral” between our ally, Israel, and the Palestinians who seek to replace it. But it won’t be easy to change presumptions that are deeply embedded in the
When the FBI informs us that parents are ready to spend up to $6.5 million in bribes to get their children into prestige colleges, it seemingly implies that all is very, very well in the American university. But Warren Treadgold tells us that’s an illusion.
He’s a distinguished professor of Byzantine history at St. Louis University who has also taught at Berkeley, FIU, Hillsdale, Stanford, and UCLA. Having entered college in 1967, he draws on long experience to both indict and offer a remedy of the most thoroughly left-wing major institution in America. His book, The University We Need (Encounter, 2018) presents its case with insight and a light touch.
The threat posed by Hezbollah and Ali Musa Daqduq, a senior operative in Hezbollah, was unmasked by Israel on Wednesday.
Daqduq was responsible for the “abduction and execution of five American servicemen in Iraq in 2007,” the IDF said. The role of Hezbollah members in neighboring states is an illustration of how groups allied with Iran are continuing to build a web linking Tehran to Beirut via a “road to the sea” that transits Iraq and Syria.
According to the IDF, the role of Daqduq includes establishing terror cells in Iraq to fight the US in 2006, stints training in Lebanon in 2013-2018 and now putting down roots in Syria.
Every few weeks, some political or national figure demands a national conversation about race. (Most recently, Senator Kamala Harris insisted, “We have not had these honest discussions about race.”)
What does a conversation about race mean? Invariably, an indictment of the fundamental unfairness of our country, the historical roots of racism in white supremacy, and the national guilt of white people.
Or, to put it more simply, why Senator Kamala Harris deserves to be in the White House.
We don’t have national conversations about anti-Semitism because the problem can’t be narrowed down to an easily blamed demographic. The Democrats invariably try to blame anti-Semitism on the usual suspects, white male Republicans living more than two hundred miles from a Starbucks, but the largest toll of violent anti-Semitic attacks tend to fall on New York City’s black neighborhoods.