Petitioners accuse Ben & Jerry’s of Double Standard occupancy

By Hamodia Staff

The Ben & Jerry’s factory in historic Waterbury Village, Vermont.

YERUSHALAYIM – Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s, which is trying to shut down operations in Yehuda and Shomron because Israel allegedly “occupied Palestinian territory”, has now come under attack as occupying other people’s land itself.

A group of 1,000 Israeli students and scholars sent the company a letter accusing it of “occupying” land belonging to Native American tribes, according to an article in the New York Post on Tuesday.

The letter, supported by Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, alleged that the Ben & Jerry’s Vermont factory was on land belonging to the Abenaki people, who existed in what is now Vermont long before the arrival of Europeans, according to the Commission. of Vermont on Native American affairs. .

“We have concluded that your company’s occupation of Abenaki lands is illegal and we believe it is completely inconsistent with the stated values ​​that Ben & Jerry’s claims to uphold,” the letter to President Anuradha Mittal said.

“Ironically, in July last year, you announced that you would stop selling your products to Israel because you oppose the Jewish state’s alleged occupation of Palestinian territories.

The letter ended with a rebuke that “justice, morality and boycotts are not just anti-Semitic slogans and weapons that your food company is aiming at the Jewish community in Israel. Justice and morality must begin at home.

The letter was organized by Students for Justice in America, a group founded to oppose the group Students for Justice in Palestine, who are the main supporters of the BDS movement.

According to the New York Post, Shurat HaDin chairman Nitsana Darshan Leitner accused Ben & Jerry’s of speaking ‘with a forked tongue’, exposing the company’s hypocrisy in advocating a boycott of the West Bank and East Jerusalem while the company itself sits on occupied land. .

Last year, Ben & Jerry’s announced a boycott of the “occupied Palestinian territory”. The decision caused a huge financial backlash for Unilever, as US states enacted anti-BDS divestment laws, pulling hundreds of millions of dollars in investments from the conglomerate.

Ben & Jerry’s Israel and its parent company Unilever reached a deal earlier this year that would see brand rights fall to Israel’s Ben & Jerry’s franchise, disconnecting it from the global brand.

However, the US subsidiary of Ben & Jerry’s filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the deal, claiming it would pose a threat to their brand image. The judge has not yet ruled on the injunction.

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