Brain freeze? Ben & Jerry stumped when asked about Israel boycott

“By that reasoning, we should not sell any ice cream anywhere,” said Ben Cohen.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Ben & Jerry’s co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield seemed unable to explain the apparent double standard of the company’s decision to halt ice cream sales in Judea in Samaria while continuing sales elsewhere, during a Sunday interview with Axios on HBO.

Axios‘ Alexi McCammond asked the two Jewish businessmen why Ben & Jerry’s doesn’t stop selling ice cream in the entirety of Israel to protest the government’s policy in Judea in Samaria.

Cohen said, “Well, I disagree with the U.S. policy, we couldn’t stop selling in the U.S. I think it’s fine to be involved with a country, to be a citizen of a country, and to protest some of the country’s actions, and that’s essentially what we’re doing in terms of Israel.”

“We hugely support Israel’s right to exist, but we are against a particular policy,” he said.

McCammond then pressed Cohen and Greenfield on the consistency of the decision, asking, “You guys are big proponents of voting rights. Why do you still sell ice cream in Georgia? Texas — abortion bans. Why are you still selling there?”

Cohen was silent for moment, shrugged, then answered, “I don’t know.”

“I mean, it’s an interesting question,” he said. “I don’t know what that would accomplish. We’re working on those issues, of voting rights and — I don’t know. You know, I mean, I think you ask a really good question. And I think I’d have to sit down and think about it for a bit.”

When McCammond continued to question the two about the company’s sale of ice cream in Texas despite their opposition to the state’s new abortion law, Cohen said, “By that reasoning, we should not sell any ice cream anywhere. I’ve got issues with what’s being done in most every state and most every country.”

Earlier in the interview, Cohen said he felt “totally fine” about being wrapped up in accusations of being anti-Semitic following the Israel boycott.

“You know, because it’s absurd. I mean, what, I’m anti-Jewish? I mean, I’m a Jew. All my family is Jewish. My friends are Jewish,” he said.

Greenfield struck a different tone, saying, “I understand people being upset. It’s a very emotional issue for a lot of people, and I totally understand it, and it’s a very painful issue for a lot of people.”

In a New York Times guest essay in July, Cohen and Greenfield praised Ben & Jerry’s decision to boycott Judea and Samaria as “especially brave.”