Ben & Jerry Confronted Over Why They Don’t Apply Israel Rule To US States With Laws They Oppose
The company and its founders are known for supporting progressive causes
The co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream were recently confronted about why, despite refusing to sell frozen desserts in Occupied Palestinian Territory, they continue to sell in states with policies that don’t align with their political beliefs.
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, long known for their progressive politics, were interviewed on “Axios on HBO” by reporter Alexi McCammond.
McCammond asked Cohen and Greenfield why, despite being “big proponents” of abortion and voting rights, the company still sells ice cream in Georgia and Texas, both of which have tightened laws on those issues.
“I don’t know,” Cohen said after appearing to give the question some thought. “I mean it’s an interesting question. I don’t know what that would accomplish.”
Pressed on the matter, Cohen said it would be unreasonable to stop selling ice cream in any state or country with which they disagree.
“I’ve got issues with what’s being done in most every state and most every country,” he said.
The interview came after the company ignited a firestorm over the summer after announcing that it would no longer sell its ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Greenfield contrasted abortion and voting rights in certain states from the policies of the Israeli government.
“What they’re doing is considered illegal by international law,” Greenfield said. “And so, I think that’s a consideration.”
Cohen clarified that he and his business partner favor a two-state solution, but the “settlements” make that harder and harder to be realized.
Cohen and Greenfield have stepped down from running the company but have retained the rights to speak on its behalf.
Author: Bradford Betz