Ben & Jerry’s has attracted massive media attention over the last couple of months after announcing that, using the United Nation’s definition of OPT, they would no longer sell ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
I was never an obsessive Ben & Jerry’s fan to begin with (Jeni’s truly splendid ice cream in Chicago ruined me for everything else), and even though I live in Israel I’m not taking it too personally because it’s… ice cream. Still, it’s been a big deal.
Some people think this development is great and see Ben & Jerry’s as taking a stand against Israel, which they view as committing ongoing major human rights violations. Some people think this is a dangerous precedent that will encourage other major corporations to boycott Israel using a pretext that is unclear, subject to rapidly changing public opinion, anti-Semitic, and which fails to identify any practical remedy. I find the entire situation – and the heady praise for the supposed morality of B&J’s – absurd.
Put aside for a moment all the issues about the Israeli occupation, whether the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement is likely to improve the situation, and whether Ben & Jerry being Jewish have anything to do with this. The simple fact is that the idea that Ben & Jerry’s is taking a stand for Human Rights™ by boycotting Israel is laughable on its face.
The B&J’s boycott is clearly a product of woke virtue-signaling rather than a meaningful effort by a major corporation to make their business reflect their values. You can find proof of Ben & Jerry’s moronic woke-ism in a number of ways, but if you’re lazy you’re in luck because you don’t have to look any further than the fact that Israel is the only country to which B&J’s chose to stop selling ice cream.
Putting aside the occupation of Tibet and other ongoing territorial conflicts, the violent crushing of dissent in Hong Kong, and its expansionist ambitions towards Taiwan, China has more than a million Muslims in “re-education camps” and there are legitimate allegations of organ harvesting from other religious minorities, like the Falun Gong, by the CCP.
Lebanon’s economy is collapsing as Iran’s military tentacles penetrate further into the government and military. Iran has no regard for the people who are killed in its expansionist ambitions, nor any regard for the territory it militarily occupies on the regime’s merry genocidal path to Israel and domination of the Shi’a crescent. It shoots protestors at home, and elects men to its presidency who have overseen the political assassination of thousands of its own citizens.
But don’t worry, guys. Ben & Jerry’s is on it in Israel.
Again, let’s save the debate about the legitimacy of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories for another time. For now, I will believe Ben & Jerry’s has the welfare of Palestinians, Muslims, occupied peoples, and humanity in general in mind when they stop selling ice cream to the following countries: China, Pakistan, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Malaysia, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Turkey, Venezuela, and Russia. I’m sure meaningful humanitarian action is forthcoming.
P.S. This decision also means Palestinians can’t buy Ben & Jerry’s. Like so many of the BDS movement’s other behaviors, the people who really end up dealing with most of the consequences are the Palestinians.