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Ben & Jerry's Aren't Nazis and Their Settlement Boycott Isn't Antisemitic

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Much of the Jewish world is once again enraged about the allegedly unfair treatment of Israel.

Monday morning, the parent company of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream announced that they would no longer sell their products in the "Occupied Palestinian territories," i.e. Jewish settlements in the West Bank, though they clarified that they will continue to sell ice cream in Israel.

In order to accomplish this goal, they will be ending their relationship with the Israeli firm licensed to produce the ice cream, as that firm refused to comply with their demand, in the firm’s words, to stop selling "throughout Israel," meaning the West Bank. (They rightly noted that this would be illegal according to Israeli law, which bans the boycott of Israeli settlements.)

Jewish reaction, in Israel and the U.S., came swiftly and furiously. Prime Minister Bennett called it "morally wrong" and labeled their product an "anti-Israel ice cream." He expressed grave concern at their decision to "boycott Israel," despite the fact that the company clearly stated that it was not doing so.

The foreign ministry stated that the company was engaged in "economic terrorism," while Yair Lapid called it a "shameful surrender to antisemitism, to BDS and to all that is wrong with the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish discourse."

Here in America, Israeli Ambassador Erdan went even farther, asking the 35 U.S. states that have passed "anti-BDS" laws to punish Unilever, the parent company. Erdan wrote that Israel views Ben & Jerry’s decision "very severely, as it is the de facto adoption of antisemitic practices and advancement of the de-legitimization of the Jewish state and the de-humanization of the Jewish people."

By this logic, refusing to sell your products to settlements that the entire world considers illegal is not only an attack on Israel but actually constitutes an antisemitic attack on the entire Jewish people.

The reaction of most mainstream American groups and pundits reflected the same sentiment.

AIPAC dubbed it a discriminatory act and blamed the settlements’ existence – celebrated and expanded by every Israeli government for the past half century – on Palestinians themselves. The American Jewish Committee called it a "shameful surrender to the...bigoted BDS Movement, which 80% of American Jews see as........

© Haaretz

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