Vermonters for a Just Peace
in Palestine/Israel

Ben & Jerry's: Do Palestinian human rights matter?

Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel commends Ben & Jerry's for taking the brave step of aligning the company with the Black Lives Matter movement in a statement posted October 6th 2016. But the company continues to miss opportunities to take specific actions to show that it respects the lives of Palestinian refugees and Palestinians living under occupation.

The statement continues: "We’ve come to understand that to be silent about the violence and threats to the lives and well-being of Black people is to be complicit in that violence and those threats." Meanwhile we’ve been saying to Ben & Jerry's for 4 years now - that to be silent about the occupation of Palestine, which daily humiliates and brutalizes 4 million Palestinians, is to be complicit in those crimes. And sales of Ben & Jerry's in settlements actively support the occupation.

Many activists in the 'Black Lives Matter' movement identify their struggle with the struggle for human rights of Palestinians who are denied basic freedoms by the Israeli occupation (When I see them I see us). Ben & Jerry's statement says "we have a moral obligation to take a stand now for justice and for Black lives." And yet by failing to speak out against the occupation they have shown little interest in justice for Palestinians. The company continues to sell ice cream in illegal Jewish-only settlements and to send ice cream treats to Israeli soldiers of the occupation forces.

Ben & Jerry's statement says "All lives do matter. But all lives will not matter until Black lives matter." As the Black Lives Matter movement has made perfectly clear, all lives include oppressed Palestinians as well as oppressed people of color in the US.

Ben & Jerry’s could take immediate constructive steps by speaking out against the occupation and by stopping sales of their ice cream in the settlements. But Palestinians' lives apparently do not matter enough.
What to do: Write an email to Ben & Jerry's Global Director of Social Mission Rob Michalak, CEO Jostein Solheim, Board Chair Jeff Furman and Ben and Jerry asking them to put Ben & Jerry's on record: "We will not do business in a country that denies Palestinians their basic human rights.

Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel