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.
We all know that the midterm elections are different this time around. They are usually like “all politics,” namely local. But this time around they’re different. They are all presidential, all about Trump, as most everything is. And for the anti-Trump crowd — I’m talking about the political commentators and “analysts” — any and all things bad are held to be Trump’s fault. This is presumably because they believe that their condemnations of Trump will result in a Democrat takeover of the House of Representatives.
A new book explores how graffiti artists in Beirut skirt limitations on expression to share political criticism in the streets.
A photograph of the book “Drawing Lines” by Tamara Zantout, taken at the launch of the book at Beit Beirut cultural center, Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 25, 2018.
BEIRUT — Beirut’s alleyways and streets are peppered in bright, detailed and provocative graffiti. Street artists use the medium, which exists in a legal grey area, to express their identity and give voice to political frustrations.
On Tuesday, San Francisco will become the largest city in the nation to allow noncitizens to vote, and the city has spent $310,000 on a “new registration system” specifically aimed at illegals. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the plan is the first in the state and follows Proposition N, a 2016 ballot measure allowing votes by noncitizens over the age of 18, reside in the city, and have children under age 19.
By the count of the Chronicle, only 49 noncitizens have signed up to vote on Tuesday, which works out to $6,326 for every illegal voter, but there’s more to the story. City officials are worried that voting could expose illegals to ICE, who might come looking and possibly deport somebody. So supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, a backer of Proposition N, urged the city to spend $500,000 to warn the illegals.
At first Sabbath service after massacre, shooting survivors are blessed; rabbi says to those who condemned Trump’s visit: ‘No one tells me how to welcome a guest in my own home’
On November 3, 2018, a joint communal Shabbat prayer service at Pittsburgh’s Beth Shalom Conservative synagogue following the massacre a week prior which saw 11 Jewish community members killed. (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — A week after an anti-Semitic shooter massacred 11 worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the community embraced each other in prayer on Saturday.
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.” He sees this trend creating a surge in “xenophobic populism.” Writing in Politico, Katy O’Donnell agrees: “Nationalist parties now have a toehold everywhere from Italy to Finland, raising fears the continent is backpedaling toward the kinds of policies that led to catastrophe in the first half of the 20th century.” Jewish leaders like Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association, sense “a very real threat from populist movements across Europe.”
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.”
We’ve been told for a long time that the ceasefire is on the way. It had many names in the past, such as tahdiah, hudna, and most recently—”an arrangement.” On Friday, once again, reports started emerging that an agreement has been reached. Several hours later, southern Israel was hit with a barrage of rockets. What happened?
And He said, “You will not be able to see My face, for No Human Being shall see Me and live.” — Shemot 33:20
Faith is deeper than knowledge. While scientific data is absorbed only in the brain, faith permeates all parts of the human personality. Nothing is untouched, all spiritual limbs quiver, and everything is transformed. It is thus more difficult to acquire faith than knowledge, and faith has a more radical effect on the human being.
A Catholic archbishop recently touched on an unspoken but highly subversive phenomenon: How anti-Christian forces exploit Christian teachings to empower those who seek to dismantle Christian civilization, Muslims being chief among them.
In an interview published last summer by the Italian outlet IlGionarle.it, Catholic Archbishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan said:
The King of Jordan, not some lowly clerk, announced that Jordan will not extend the currently existing leases renting two parcels of land to Israel. One is the so-called Island of Peace in the northern Naharayim area and the other located in the southern Arava, near Tzofar, an agricultural cooperative village (moshav). Jordan was entirely within its rights to decide not to renew the leases