Ben & Jerry’s board demands ‘immediate and permanent’ ceasefire in Gaza

Ben & Jerry’s has not condemned Hamas for the October 7th attack nor has it demanded the immediate and unconditional release of hostages in Gaza. 

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Anuradha Mittal, the chair of Ben & Jerry’s board who called for boycotting Israel in the past, issued a statement calling for an “immediate and permanent” ceasefire in Gaza.

Mittal told The Financial Times that “peace is a core value” of the ice cream company, and calling for Israel to stop its military operations to defeat Hamas is “consistent with the history and values of our company.”

The company, founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, both of whom are Jewish, did not issue a similar statement condemning Hamas for its atrocities committed on October 7th nor have they called for an immediate and unconditional release of hostages in Gaza.

Although the company was sold to Unilever in 2000, according to an agreement, Ben & Jerry’s can retain an independent board to pursue its branding efforts in connection with environmental and social causes.

Mittal emphasizes that the board is responsible for its “social mission and essential brand integrity.”

This isn’t the first time Ben & Jerry’s has been in conflict with Israel.

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Ben & Jerry’s tried to end the sale of its ice cream products in the “occupied territories” referring to Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

This raised issues for Unilever, the parent company, about its involvement in boycotting Israel, and it resolved the issue by selling Unilever’s rights to the Ben & Jerry’s brand in Israel to an Israeli company.

In response, Ben & Jerry’s Israeli franchise announced it was going to open a bigger factory and vastly expand operations in the country now that he is free of the constraints imposed on him by the anti-Israel policies of the flagship company.

“Now I can do what I want,” Zinger told Ynet. “I plan to expand the brand into other ice cream products, with the aim of increasing my market share in the ice cream industry.”