Avi Zinger holds the Israel franchise producing Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. His business is located in Be’er Tuvia, a moshav near Ashkelon (a city frequently targeted by missiles from Gaza). Ben and Jerry’s has announced that it will not renew the license, set to expire in December 2022, because the business sells its ice cream in Israeli communities located beyond the Green Line (which Ben & Jerry’s calls “Occupied Palestinian Territory”).
In fact, the land in question was liberated from illegal Jordanian occupation in 1967 only after Jordan fired on Israeli-controlled western Jerusalem, thereby allying with Egypt and Syria in a war instigated with the open intention of destroying Israel and annihilating her people. Palestinian leaders, while condemning Israeli “occupation” of “Palestinian land,” have rejected several Israeli proposals that would have led to the emergence of the first-ever-to-exist Arab State of Palestine.
The problem is that the Palestinian leaders are more interested in trying to replace Israel with a Muslim-majority state than in making any effort to build a Palestinian state.
Many Israeli businesses in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (areas dubbed the “West Bank” by the Jordanians) employ Palestinians as well as Jews and serve both Jewish and Palestinian consumers. They should be lauded for showing that Jews and Palestinians can co-exist, a first step toward realizing the dream of Two States for Two Peoples, a Palestinian state living in peace with the nation-state of the Jews.
Ben & Jerry’s announcement unfortunately supports the Palestinian leaders’ anti-normalization stance, which condemns Palestinians who join in Israeli efforts to end the conflict. For the sake of peace-seekers in Israel, I hope Mr. Zinger will continue with business as usual while searching for a new business sponsor. I urge Israel’s supporters, worldwide, to boycott Ben & Jerry’s and protest its wrongheaded move that abets people working for Israel’s destruction.
Toby F. Block, Atlanta