It appears that Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, has been blind sided by one of their own. Chairperson Anuradha Mittal, who runs the daily operation of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream arbitrarily decided to pull-the-plug on sales to Israel.
The move sparked condemnation of the multinational consumer goods company all across the Jewish State. And on Tuesday a furious Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned Unilever that their decision to halt sales of the creamy dessert treat in the “occupied Palestinian territory could carry “severe consequences.”
American ice-cream brand Ben & Jerry's faces a backlash in Israel after saying it would no longer sell its products in the occupied Palestinian territories, a move Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called 'morally wrong' https://t.co/kATxgYJ1X4 pic.twitter.com/jR0I0X6Dia— Reuters (@Reuters) July 20, 2021
“Prime Minister Bennett spoke with Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever which owns Ben & Jerry’s and made it clear that he views with utmost gravity the decision by Ben & Jerry’s to boycott Israel and added that this is a subsidiary of Unilever, which has taken a clearly anti-Israel step,” the prime minister’s office said on Twitter.
Adding, “Prime Minister Bennett emphasized that from the perspective of the State of Israel, this is an action that has severe consequences, including legal, and it will take strong action against any boycott directed against its citizens.”
For the record, Anuradha Mittal is a human right’s activist, founder and executive director of the Oakland Institute, an ultra-progressive think-tank dedicated to far-left causes. She also serves on the board of the Environmental Defender Law Center, an international group of activist attorneys dedicated to social justice and environmental issues. Mittal was also named the Most Valuable Thinker by the far left publication Nation Magazine.
This all leaves us to ponder why would Unilever hire someone with such far left credentials who is dedicated to advancing progressive political social justice issues? Why not hire someone more inclined to advancing Unilever’s international business model? It simply doesn’t make sense.
The Prime Minister’s threat comes on the heels of a prolonged anti Israeli campaign on social media targeting the leftist leaning ice cream maker. On Monday, Mittal along with the company’s top brass caved to the pressure.
In a statement executives at Ben & Jerry’s announced, “We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).”
Facing a growing backlash from both American Christians and Jews, the ice cream company attempted to walk back the boycott, clarifying their position that it’s not boycotting Israel, just the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
So long pic.twitter.com/R2NgifTpva— caleidoscope eye (@_stopwhispering) July 19, 2021
One might ask, how did an international British company like Unilever with a multitude of products in over 190 countries find itself in such a quandary?
The answer lies with the unusual agreement crafted in 2000 when Unilever acquired Ben & Jerry’s allowing them to create their own independent board of directors. This would be completely autonomous from the parent companies social mission and policies.
Caught between the Israeli Prime Minister and Ben & Jerry’s decision to ban it’s product in Israel Unilever attempted to put things into perspective stating that it has “always recognized the right of Ben & Jerry’s and its independent Board to take decisions about its social mission.”
However regardless of who’s at fault Morton Williams’s supermarket chain located in New York has decided to severely side-line the creamy cold treat after hearing about the ban.
Following a board meeting on Monday the giant food chain decided to limit Ben & Jerry’s products throughout its 16 stores by a whopping 70% and to also reduce its weekly promotions within their stores.
As the saying goes, “get woke go broke”.