Ben & Jerry's has a history of anti-Israel policies

Ben & Jerry's previously attempted to stop the sale of its products in the West Bank in order to boycott settlements and continues to criticize Israel more vehemently since October 7, as the company continues to urge the U.S. government to cease supporting Israel

Global ice cream company Ben & Jerry's, whose Israeli branch disassociated itself from the parent company due to the founders' political views, has a complex history with the State of Israel since even before it announced the cessation of product sales outside the Green Line in July 2021.
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The Jewish founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, explained at the time that their move stemmed from their ideological opposition to the government's settlements policy.
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חנות בן אנד ג'ריס באנגליה
חנות בן אנד ג'ריס באנגליה
Ben & Jerry's
(Photo: Shutterstock)
When asked in an interview why, as self-proclaimed ideological supporters of the right to choose and in favor of abortion, they continue to sell ice cream in states like Georgia or Texas, where abortion is illegal, they were left momentarily speechless. "That's an interesting question," Cohen said. "We'll have to think about it."
The sale of Ben & Jerry's ice cream has not been halted in any country, including the United States, since then. In fact, as of December 2022, the company resumed sales past the Green Line after a complex legal saga that involved a dispute between the Israeli franchise and the global parent company, Unilever. This dispute led, among other things, to the removal of images of Cohen and Greenfield from the packaging in Israel.
However, the CEO of the global company, Anuradha Mittal, has continued to criticize Israel, intensifying her condemnation since October 7. As part of the 2020 acquisition of Ben & Jerry's, Unilever agreed to let the brand's independent board decide which social goals it wants to promote.
Despite having just a few thousand followers, it seems that a tweet by Mittal took a toll on at least one individual: the head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center directorate Nelson Peltz, the 81-year-old billionaire known primarily as the father-in-law of Brooklyn Beckham's wife, Nicola Peltz. Nelson Peltz, who has been involved in human rights organizations since the '80s, abruptly resigned following the organization's call to boycott Ben & Jerry's over Mittal's tweets, allegedly without his knowledge.
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המיליארדר האמריקני נלסון פלץ
המיליארדר האמריקני נלסון פלץ
Nelson Peltz
(Photo: Reuters)
Peltz, who also serves on the board of Unilever, still the parent company of Ben & Jerry's, expressed his displeasure with Mittal's tweets regarding the terror attack on October 7. Peltz's tweet accused Mittal of justifying mass murder, rape and torture of kidnapped Jews, including children. Subsequently, the Wiesenthal Center said in a statement that: "No one should waste a penny on her company's products."
Mittal claimed that the center's attack against her was personal, leading to a barrage of threatening emails and messages from online users. She approached Unilever's management, calling for an examination of potential conflicts of interest regarding Peltz's role on the company's board, in parallel with the Wiesenthal Center's actions. She questioned whether Peltz may have violated his fiduciary duty toward shareholders in light of the center's calls for consumers to boycott Unilever products. Surprisingly, Peltz chose to resign from his position at the center, a move that caught many off guard.
The company became an enthusiastic supporter of Palestinian causes and, as mentioned, ceased sales of its products in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Unilever opposed this move, and after a lengthy legal process reached an agreement with the Israeli subsidiary a year ago to allow continued sales.
Ben & Jerry's Israel responded in a statement: "Ben & Jerry's Israel is an independent, private, patriotic company operating in Israel without any commercial or legal ties to the company abroad. Ben & Jerry's Israel unequivocally condemn the statements of the global company's board. It's worth noting that a year ago Ben & Jerry's Israel disassociated from Ben & Jerry's global company due to their opinions and their attitude toward Israel."
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