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 US Treasury added three top Hezbollah figures to its list of sanctioned individuals on Tuesday, including two members of the Lebanese Parliament and a security official responsible for coordinating between Hezbollah and Lebanon’s security agencies.
It was the first time the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had designated a member of Lebanon’s Parliament under a sanctions list that targets those accused by Washington of providing support to terrorist organizations. Washington has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
South African fans in Cairo celebrating their team’s win over Egypt at the African Cup of Nations. Photo: Reuters / Sumaya Hisham.
Three days after South Africa stunned the world of international soccer by knocking hosts Egypt out of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, the sound of elation remains clearly detectable in the voice of the team’s Jewish midfielder, Dean Furman.
“It was a fantastic victory, just fantastic,” Furman told The Algemeiner during a break in training on Tuesday, as South Africa prepared for its crucial quarterfinal game against Nigeria, another of the continent’s toughest sides, tomorrow.
Pieter van Oordt, left, with his brother, Roger, at the Israel
For the second time in recent history, a Dutch Christian organization dedicated to supporting Israel has gone head-to-head with the government. With their family tradition of belief in Israel that preceded the state of Israel by almost one hundred years, it seems unlikely that the van Oordts are about to back down, no matter what the odds.
Last month, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy made a request from the management of the Israel Products Center (IPC) to ensure they were in compliance with regulations adopted in 2015 by the European Commission requiring products made by Jewish owned companies in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, and sections of Jerusalem to be labeled in a manner indicating their origins.
Studies have shown that dairy cows contribute large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, caused by the organisms living in their microbiomes.
Genetically modifying cows may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feed world populations, a new study led by Prof. Itzhak Mizrahi of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev suggests.
“Our findings are both a major breakthrough for basic science and will have a positive impact on two major challenges facing the international community for the foreseeable future: climate change and food security,” Mizrahi said.
The decision by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to promote Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter reflects his future political aspirations.
Incoming Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi walks out at the end of a handover ceremony where he replaces Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 15, 2019.
Israel has its own version of Napoleon’s famous saying, “Every soldier carries a marshal’s baton in his pack.” In these parts, every general carries a prime minister’s baton — or at least that of a defense minister — in his pack
As Islamist Watch has pointed out many times before, Islam is enormously diverse – containing many competing schools of theology, schools of jurisprudence, sects, ethnicities, cultures and mysticisms. Islamism is also not a single force; it comprises dozens of (both) competing and collaborating radical ideologies.
One of the most intriguing divisions, then, within both American Islam and Islamism of late has been growing dissent over the question of liberalism.
Right after Trump’s inauguration, I ran an article about how incredibly fake the news coverage was about his inauguration. (Those reading my site know I’m not a big Trump fan, but credit where credit is due and calling fake where calling fake is due.) The media was nothing short of spectacularly fake in the news it contrived that week on CNN, the New York Times and the other major fake media, and they mostly got away with it.
It wasn’t condescension or contempt. Recent remarks by former Mossad head Shabtai Shavit reek of racism. That is the proper way to frame them, calling them anything else is letting him off easy. In its classic, formal sense, racism is when a certain social sector perceives itself as superior because of clear racial criteria. Shavit represents an updated version of racism that doesn’t require ethnicity or religion as proof of a defect – you can call it “essential racism.”
Little Napoleon Barak is going to save Israeli Democracy? What a bunch of claptrap Orwellian doublespeak.
Well let’s check out history. How well did the original Napoleon save France’s democratic revolution against the monarchy?
Hmm, if I recall he crowned himself emperor!
For years, the pundits have been telling us that Israeli democracy is in danger because of the Arab birthrate, or because of the Jewish nation-state law, or because of the debates over the powers of Israel’s High Court.
I wonder if they will recognize the danger posed by the 10 left-wing American Jewish organizations that have formed a new umbrella organization, the essential purpose of which is to undermine Israeli democracy.