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Ben & Jerry’s “Values” Are Fueling Jew-Hatred

Published: in Jewish News by .

One has to wonder what Ben & Jerry’s Board means by “values.”

The post Ben & Jerry’s “Values” Are Fueling Jew-Hatred appeared first on Jewish Journal.

Following in the footsteps of such luminaries in Jew-hatred as Wilhelm Marr and Karl Lueger, the Board of Directors of Ben & Jerry’s has announced its intention not to sell ice cream in “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” and further expressed its desire not to sell ice cream to Jews or others living anywhere in Israel.

“We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestine Territory,” the Board’s statement reads.

The double standard is apparent. While the idea of Jews living in Judea may be inconsistent with Ben & Jerry’s Board’s “values,” it appears that selling Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Hong Kong, Russia, and Turkey is perfectly compatible with their values. In Hong Kong, the Chinese government has engaged in a brutal takeover and destruction of civil society. Russia conquered and occupies Crimea as well as large swaths of Ukraine, all as its leaders literally jail and murder political opponents. And Turkey massacres Kurds, and has rolled back or eliminated almost all protections for women against domestic violence, decimated LGBTQ rights, and imprisoned and purged from government and academia thousands of political dissidents and opponents without any due process.

One has to wonder what Ben & Jerry’s Board means by “values.”

Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever, announced it still plans to sell ice cream within the pre-1967 borders of Israel. Given Ben & Jerry’s Board’s negative response to this information, it is fair to conclude that the Board, or at least its anti-Zionist chairperson, Anuradha Mittal, believes that all of Israel is “Occupied Palestine Territory” (OPT) and that it isn’t just the Old City of Jerusalem and the lands of Judea and Samaria that should be boycotted, but also all of Israel.

But even if Ben & Jerry’s goal was to “only” boycott Jews living in the areas that Israel gained control of during the Six Day War, characterizing those areas as “Occupied Palestine Territory” as opposed to “disputed territory” is a massive mischaracterization that unfairly demonizes Israel. This erroneous language contributes further to the already toxic environment of Jew-hatred that has led to the dramatic increase in antisemitic attacks over the past decade all over the U.S. and Europe.

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It is notable that the politically-loaded term “occupied territory” is almost never used in connection with other long-term territorial disputes. Government and media spokespeople do not refer to the Kashmir (claimed by Pakistanis and Indians), the Nagorno-Karabakh (claimed by both Armenians and Azerbaijanis) or the Western Sahara (claimed by both Moroccans and the Sahrawi people) as “occupied.” Rather, those territories are all generally referred to as “disputed,” and never the subject of any demands for boycotts by the Ben & Jerry’s of the world.

Further, the claim that historical Judea and Samaria and the Old City of Jerusalem are “occupied Palestinian territories” ignores the fact that under international law, “occupation” only applies when one country takes over the lawfully sovereign territory of another country.

As a result, the application of the term “occupied” to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict ignores that when Jordan attacked Israel in the Six Day War (and thereafter lost control of Judea and Samaria and the Old City of Jerusalem), neither Jordan nor any other independent Arab country had ever been the legal sovereign of any land west of the Jordan River.

The use by Ben & Jerry’s Board of the term “Occupied Palestinian Territories” to any land currently controlled by Israel also ignores the following facts:

    1. Before 1949, Jews lived in the lands called Judea and Samaria for centuries.
    2. Between 1929 and 1949 Arab militants and the Jordanian Arab Legion (with tremendous assistance from the British Empire) ethnically cleansed nearly every single Jew from Judea; and Jordan illegally annexed that territory with nary a peep from the rest of the world in 1950.
    3. Between 1949 and June 1967, not a single Arab leader, including any Palestinian Arab leader, ever claimed that Judea and Samaria (first called the “West Bank” by the Jordanians in 1950) was “Palestinian territory” or demanded that it be turned into a Palestinian Arab state.
    4. In 1964, when the PLO was first formed, its own Charter disclaimed any interest in Judea and Samaria or in turning the Jordanian controlled half of Jerusalem into the capital of another Arab state.
    5. Israel gained control of the entirety of Judea and Samaria in June 1967—after Jordan attacked Israel as part of another self-described war by several Arab dictatorships to “push the Jews into the sea.”
    6. Since June 1967, Israel has repeatedly offered to relinquish control over most of the land it gained control of in the Six Day War, and has relinquished control of much of that land, in efforts to reach peace agreements with Egypt, Jordan and the PLO; but in the case of the PLO, all of Israel’s offers to create a first-ever independent Arab state west of the Jordan River have been rejected.
    7. Since 1967, Israel has allowed Jews who want to live in their indigenous, religious and historical homeland to move to Judea and Samaria, but it has never in contravention of any actual international law “deported or transferred” any Israeli civilians to live on those lands. Israelis move there, if they want to. And the reality is that after the Six Day War many Jews moved back to homes that they or their families were forced out of by the Jordanian Army just 19 years before the Six Day War.
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Ben & Jerry’s Board’s decision seeks to scapegoat Jews and to give a complete pass to Arab dictatorships, from the PLO to Hamas and beyond. Ben and Jerry’s should remember that even though it has been offered to the Palestinian Arabs over seven times since 1937, to this very day a fully sovereign Arab state west of the Jordan River has never been created.

Ben & Jerry’s Board’s decision seeks to scapegoat Jews and to give a complete pass to Arab dictatorships, from the PLO to Hamas and beyond.

For the Ben & Jerry’s Board it is apparently acceptable to perpetuate the notion that approximately 500,000 Jews living in Judea and Samaria is somehow preventing the creation of another independent Arab country (after Jordan) in the original British Mandate for Palestine. Meanwhile, they might ask themselves why the presence of nearly two million Arabs living in Israel doesn’t prevent the existence of one Jewish state in that same region.

Why is it a given that any independent Arab state west of the Jordan River has to be as Judenrein as the rest of the Arab-controlled Middle East and North Africa? Why is it so inconsistent with the Ben & Jerry’s Board’s “values” to sell ice cream in the Old City of Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria? Why does the Ben & Jerry’s Board subject only the Jews and the Jewish state to uniquely harsh sanctions in connection with a long-standing territorial dispute?

The Ben & Jerry’s announcement is not about ice cream. It is certainly not about any positive “values.” By isolating and singling out the world’s only Jewish state with hypocritical sanctions, Ben & Jerry’s is giving sustenance to the world’s oldest hatred.

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Micha Danzig served in the Israeli Army and is a former police officer with the NYPD. He is currently an attorney and is very active with numerous Jewish and pro-Israel organizations, including Stand With Us, T.E.A.M. and the FIDF.

The post Ben & Jerry’s “Values” Are Fueling Jew-Hatred appeared first on Jewish Journal.

Source: Jewish Journal

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