StandWithUs Executives, Michael Dickson, Roz Rothstein and Jerry Rothstein with Avi Zinger, CEO of Ben and Jerrys in Israel. Ben and Jerrys in Israel will be able to sell its ice cream throughout Israel, including the West Bank communities (Judea and Samaria).
(LOS ANGELES, June 29, 2022) – StandWithUs strongly commends today’s announcement by Unilever, Ben and Jerry’s parent company, to sell Ben & Jerry’s business interests in Israel to the Israeli licensee, Avi Zinger. The new arrangement allows the sale of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream throughout Israel and the West Bank to be sold under its Hebrew and Arabic names. In its announcement, Unilever states that it, “rejects completely and repudiates unequivocally any form of discrimination or intolerance. Antisemitism has no place in any society. We have never expressed any support for the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement and have no intention of changing that position.” StandWithUs was at the forefront of the challenge against Ben & Jerry’s boycott, sending approximately 500 individual letters to Unilever stakeholders, testifying before a state investment board, rallying 19,000 to join the campaign, deploying advertisement trucks to Unilever’s headquarters to protest Ben & Jerry’s antisemitism, and regularly reaching out to Unilever CEO Alan Jope. In the last year since Ben & Jerry’s announced its boycott, the StandWithUs Saidoff Legal Department worked to hold Ben & Jerry’s (and its parent company Unilever) legally accountable for its discriminatory decision to cut ties with its factory in Israel after 2022. StandWithUs thanks the many organizations and individuals who helped further our campaign and supplement the greater concerted efforts of the community at large. We are grateful to the twelve state attorneys general and seven state treasurers who wrote to Unilever, and congressmen from both parties who issued a letter of concern to the chairman of the SEC. States including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas invoked their anti-BDS legislation to help Unilever realize the hundreds of millions of dollars it risked by enabling Ben & Jerry’s discriminatory boycott. StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein issued the following statement: “I was gratified to receive notification from Alan Jope, Unilever CEO, informing me and other Jewish organizations that Unilever rejects the Ben & Jerry's discriminatory boycott of Israel. Unilever’s decision and its announcement are a full repudiation of the anti-Israel BDS movement whose ultimate goal is the eradication of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. Unilever’s statement correctly views this as antisemitic. We are heartened that Unilever’s announcement emphasized its commitment to its $250 million investment in the Israeli economy, declaring it is “very proud of our business in Israel [which] employs around 2,000 people of diverse backgrounds” in four manufacturing plants and expressed its hope of “continuing to make a positive contribution to Israel’s economy and society for many decades to come.”
This is a major blow to the BDS Movement, which last year claimed as a victory the Ben & Jerry’s decision to cut ties with its Israeli licensee. Today, Avi Zinger, who faced the loss of his license to sell Ben & Jerry's in Israel because he refused to comply with their boycott demands, will now be owner of Ben & Jerry's in Israel. Ben & Jerry’s will be available to all Israelis regardless of their geographical location, religion or nationality.
About StandWithUs StandWithUs (SWU) is an international, non-profit and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism.
Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters and programs on 7 continents including the U.S., Israel, the UK, Canada, South Africa, Brazil and Australia.
For the last eleven years, SWU has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator (4 stars) and Guidestar (Platinum).