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Ben & Jerry’s Israel Contractor: Company Leadership Underestimated Backlash

Israeli business daily Globes reported on Monday that the political pressure against Unilever and subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s to abandon their pro-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions efforts has only increased since the summer.

The article noted the letter sent by twelve attorneys general of U.S. states that sought to get Unilever CEO Alan Jope to intervene and get the ice cream maker to back off its planned boycott of sales in Israel’s “occupied territories,” which is to take effect when it ends its deal with its Israeli contractor at the end of 2022. Members of Congress have also asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to demand Unilever amend its regulatory filings to reflect risk posed by Ben & Jerry’s actions on Israel.

Ben & Jerry’s contractor in Israel, Avi Zinger (pictured above), said the company and Unilever underestimated how strong the backlash against their BDS activity would be. From the Globes report:

Ben & Jerry’s Israel CEO Avi Zinger told “Globes” that Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s thought that the storm would blow over after two weeks and the criticism would subside. “The opposite has happened and processes that needed time to gain momentum are happening now – more and more states and institutions are withdrawing investments, state governors are publishing harsh declarations and withdrawing their money.”

 

He added that an event recently attended by senior jurists, attorney generals and state attorneys from the Republican Party resolved to take more severe legal and economic measures against Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s, similar to the sanctions imposed on Iran and its banks, due to its financing of terror.

 

Zinger has appeared in several US forums on this issue and is severely critical of the Israeli government for doing virtually nothing on the matter besides a few bombastic statements when the boycott was first announced. He demands that the government puts pressure on US administration sources to work against Unilever for violating legislation in many US states, and also bring into the struggle Christian organizations and friends of Israel.

NLPC has been among the groups pushing Unilever to get control over Ben & Jerry’s and its anti-Semitic board of directors, led by radical Anuradha Mittal.

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