Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is Sold in Israel’s Illegal Settlements in Occupied Palestine
Oberlin Students and Alumni urge Ben & Jerry's to End Their Complicity in Israel's Occupation and Illegal Settlements
Dear Jerry Greenfield, OC '73,
We understand that you have been in conversation with Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel (VTJP) since 2011 and are beginning to hear from broader concerned communities about Ben & Jerry’s commercial complicity in Israel's occupation of Palestine and its illegal, Jewish-only settlements. We thought it was time for you to hear from some fellow Obies who share a bit of your history.
You have, on a number of occasions, cited Oberlin values as part of your approach to ice cream and business. In 2008, when you returned to campus for a lecture titled "Liberal Arts, Social Responsibility, and Ice Cream," you shared your memories of a radical Oberlin and your "firm belief that businesses do not have to choose between profit and social concerns."
You spoke also about your most powerful Oberlin memory--the student strike after the Kent State shootings of May 1970. Some of us writing to you share your memories of Kent State. For many of us, like you, it was shockingly new that students could be killed at home for their resistance to militarization and inequality.
In communities of color in the U.S., however, this was not news. Today, this is also a daily reality for Palestinian and Israeli young people who have committed themselves to resisting apartheid and occupation.
Others of us writing to you have found ourselves in more recent Oberlin teach-ins over the last months, classes canceled again as we face the persistence of racism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism in our communities. Generations of Oberlinians have and continue to grapple with how to make change and to understand our layers of complicity in systems of oppression that exist in our local and global worlds. In 2008, and on many other occasions, you have located yourself and the story of Ben & Jerry's in this tradition.
Even after selling Ben & Jerry's to a multinational corporation, Unilever, you remained confident that ethical socially responsible engagement would continue to drive Ben & Jerry's business decisions:
Moreover, your impressive Social Mission still commits Ben & Jerry's to:
We, members of your Oberlin community, urge you to put your Social Mission to work and take the following measures presented by VTJP until Israel ends its discriminatory practices and colonization of Palestinian lands in compliance with international law:
|Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel Boycott@vtjp.org|