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Simon Wiesenthal Center urges boycott of Ben & Jerry’s

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Simon Wiesenthal Center urges boycott of Ben & Jerry’s

The prominent human rights organization, the Simon Wiesenthal Center urged legislative and consumer action against the ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry’s on Thursday, due to its boycott activity against Israel, triggering the first major call for a counter-boycott of the company.

“Sparked by Ben & Jerry’s boycott of Israel, Simon Wiesenthal Center calls for consumers and legislators to act,” wrote the organization.

Early Newspaper

The Simon Wiesenthal Center showed a picture of the famous Ben and Jerry’s ice cream logo, and above wrote “tell your local grocery store” to “Stop Selling,” and added “Anti-Semitic Ice Cream!” underneath. The phrase “Stop Selling” was imposed on the middle section of the pint.

The human rights NGO said that it continues to push back against Ben and Jerry’s boycott of Israel, this time with a newly-launched campaign placing ads in US Jewish newspapers, paid for by supporters of the SWC, calling on consumers, states, and legislators to take action.

The goal of the Wiesenthal Center is to “mobilize Americans and states to contest Ben & Jerry’s boycott against Israel.”

Hallel Silverman and two other members of the Digitell visiting group stand on a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream truck. (credit: ARSEN OSTROVSKY OF THE INTERNATIONAL LEGAL FORUM)Hallel Silverman and two other members of the Digitell visiting group stand on a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream truck. (credit: ARSEN OSTROVSKY OF THE INTERNATIONAL LEGAL FORUM)

The organization wrote that “many states have already pulled investments out of Unilever, including a combined $325 million divestment from Arizona and New Jersey. Reviews of Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s that could lead to similar action are underway in New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Maryland, and Rhode Island, prompted by anti-BDS laws requiring states to withdraw investments from any company that boycotts the goods, products, or businesses of Israel.”

Wiesenthal officials said “that this was never just about ice cream sold in East Jerusalem but rather about Ben and Jerry’s ice cream company profits being leveraged by an activist anti-Semite, Ben & Jerry’s board chairwoman Anuradha Mittal, who has a track record of endorsing the antisemitic BDS movement and defending Hezbollah and Hamas.”

According to Wiesenthal, “With a spike of violent attacks against Jews from Germany and the UK to the US, and with antisemitism exploding around the globe, we cannot enable the odious, anti-Semitic BDS movement to continue to use money from a global brand to brand Jews as occupiers in their own land.”

The German and Austrian federal parliaments declared BDS an antisemitic campaign that recalls the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses during the 1930’s.

 

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Simon Wiesenthal Center urges boycott of Ben & Jerry’s