Israeli politicians deal with Ben & Jerry’s scandal while others have been frozen

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Ben & Jerry’s decision in the United States to end its contract with its Israeli licensee for refusing to stop selling ice cream beyond the pre-1967 Israeli border has given some Israeli politicians political points sweet and to others a brain freeze.
It all depended on whether politicians got the right scoop on who the good guys and bad guys were in history and who got spooned incorrect information.

Shortly after the news broke, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is Israel’s best-known ice cream shopper, proudly tweeted that he would boycott all Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

“Now we Israelis know which ice cream NOT to buy,” Netanyahu tweeted, accompanied by an Israeli flag and a muscular arm emoji.

Netanyahu apparently did not learn the news until he tweeted that the Israeli licensee of Ben & Jerry’s had fought for years to continue selling the product nationwide. If he had known, he might have tweeted the flag and muscular arm emoji with a statement about continuing to buy ice cream in Israel while boycotting it abroad.

He was not the only one to be misinformed. Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) posted a photo of himself on Facebook eating an ice cream cone which he said was not only tastier than Ben & Jerry’s, but neither was boycotting more.

“Even with ice cream, the fate of [his West Bank settlement] Nokdim will be the same as the fate of Tel Aviv, “said Liberman, who, as finance minister, should know better how an Israeli company works.

Former Likud Minister Ofir Akumis also announced on Facebook that he would “stop buying Ben & Jerry’s in Judea and Samaria and everywhere else in the world”, without differentiating between the Israeli company which is is beaten to keep its ice cream on the shelves of Efrat and Neve Aliza and the products of the same name sold around the world.

But the tip of the ice cream cone belonged to Israel’s Economy Minister Orna Barbivay (Yesh Atid), who humbled herself on TikTok by posting a video of her coming home from work and immediately throwing it in the trash. which seemed like a full pint of Dulche De Leche, one of Ben & Jerry’s best flavors.

Ben & Jerry’s licensee Avi Zinger, who brought ice cream to Israel three decades ago, said Barbivay’s decision hurt him almost as much as the decision in Vermont.

While these Israeli politicians have been left behind, there are also many who found a sweet spot in their responses.

The first current MP to respond was Simcha Rothman of the Religious Zionist Party, who immediately urged Israelis to continue eating Israel-made Ben & Jerry’s and tweeted that the Israeli licensee deserves credit for fighting against it. a boycott of Judea and Samaria.

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) urged Israelis on social media to differentiate between Ben & Jerry’s in Israel and abroad.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) decided to take practical action with his tweet that “Ben & Jerry’s decision represents a shameful surrender to anti-Semitism, BDS and all that goes wrong with it anti-Israel and anti-Jewish discourse ”.

He said he would work to enforce anti-Israel boycott laws passed in more than 30 US states. In the morning, outgoing Israeli Ambassador to the United States Gilad Erdan, who is in Israel, had already written to the governors of 35 states, demanding that they apply sanctions against American society.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (Yamina) also jumped into action, addressing Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry.

Time will tell if the efforts of Bennett, Lapid, Shaked and Rothman will overturn the decision – or at least prevent Ben & Jerry’s sale to Israel from being frozen.



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