Vermonters for a Just Peace
in Palestine/Israel

Ben & Jerry's ignores appeal on behalf of Human Rights Campaigner

Prompted by our campaign, a delegation from Ben & Jerry's, including several members of senior management and of the Board of Directors (including Chairman of the Board Jeff Furman), traveled to Israel to meet with activists and officials in March 2014. Human Rights activist Omar Barghouti was among the people they met.

On April 6 2016, we wrote a letter to Ben & Jerry’s calling on the "Peace and Love" company to condemn recent threats of physical harm by Israeli officials against this same Omar Barghouti and other Palestinian BDS activists. Our letter received no response, and apparently no action.

The Israeli Minister of Transportation, Intelligence and Atomic energy, Yisrael Katz, had said that Israel must carry out a "targeted civil thwarting of the BDS leadership," naming Omar Barghouti and other activists. ("Targeted thwarting" is an Israeli military term for "assassination"). Our letter requested Ben & Jerry’s to "issue a strong public statement condemning the recent attacks against Omar Barghouti and other BDS activists, and demanding that the government of Israel take all necessary measures to protect the lives of these activists and to defend their human and civil rights."

Then, in early May 2016, news emerged that Israel refused to renew travel documents for Omar Barghouti. (He is a Permanent Resident in Israel, by virtue of his marriage to an Israeli citizen). This amounts to a travel ban and is an escalation of its attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders who nonviolently advocate for Palestinian rights under international law. Additionally Omar's residency rights in Israel are currently being reconsidered.

What to do: Write an email to Ben & Jerry's Board Chairperson Jeff Furman and CEO Jostein Solheim asking them to put Ben & Jerry's on record: "We will not do business in a country that targets and harasses Human Rights Activists"

Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel