Last week, Ben & Jerry’s announced that it would stop selling ice cream in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. “We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT),” the statement reads. “We also hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners.” This decision came after a long grassroots pressure campaign led by Vermonters for Justice in Palestine, and supported locally by Strength Through Peace.
After Israel’s most recent attack on Gaza and its forced removals of Arab families from their homes in East Jerusalem, members of the U.S. Congress and media have given increased attention to what Human Rights Watch and Israel’s respected human rights organization, B’tselem, have described as Israel’s apartheid policies and practices.
Ben and Jerry’s decision hit a nerve in the State of Israel, elected leaders of which have unleashed a fire-storm of criticism of Ben & Jerry’s and calls for legal action under anti-boycott laws in the U.S. That criticism has resonated with some members of the U.S. Congress.
Ben and Jerry’s needs to feel a little love for taking a stance in support of Palestinian rights! Please send a short note to them through their website here letting them know that you appreciate their decision to end sales of their products in the occupied Palestinian territory. And if you’re a fan of ice cream, stop by our local Ben & Jerry’s franchise and enjoy a cup or cone. When you do, make a point of thanking staff for the company’s recent decision.
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