Ben & Jerry's Israel distances itself from political U.S. flavor

Local factory says it has no intention of selling Women's March-linked 'Pecan Protest'

November 1, 2018 02:00
Ben and Jerry's 'Pecan Resist' flavor

Ben and Jerry's 'Pecan Resist' flavor. (photo credit: PR)


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Ben & Jerry’s Israel released a statement Wednesday distancing itself from a new flavor of ice cream in the United States that has stirred up controversy.

On Tuesday, the global company announced it was launching a new flavor titled “Pecan Resist.” The limited edition ice cream – chocolate with fudge, pecans, walnuts and almonds – “supports groups creating a more just and equitable nation for us all, and who are fighting President Trump’s regressive agenda,” the company said.

The message, of course, was not received well by many ice cream-loving Trump supporters. But others were also not pleased that the ice cream is donating the proceeds to four groups, including the controversial Women’s March. Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour has been associated with Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh while fellow leader Tamika Mallory has voiced support for outspoken antisemite Louis Farrakhan.

On Wednesday, Ben & Jerry’s Israel branch made it clear it has no links to the flavor.

“Ben & Jerry’s Israel is an independent and Israeli company,” it wrote on Facebook. “All of the products sold in Israel are made in a factory located in Beer Tuviya.... We buy our milk and cream only from Israeli producers. We have no connection to the decisions made by the global brand, and we don’t get involved in local or world politics.” 

The company added that it had no intention to sell the new controversial flavor in Israel and will “continue to work and act for the community and for Israeli society.” The Israeli factory does often produce some of the global brand’s limited edition flavors, it chooses which products to offer in Israel.

While it is first and foremost an ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s – founded by Jewish childhood friends Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield – has long associated itself with liberal politics. The company has marketed several flavors in support of same-sex marriage, and the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation supports social justice projects across the United States.

The Israeli branch of the company also pursues philanthropic efforts; earlier this year it partnered with the Bob Marley Foundation to support the Ethiopian National Project’s SPACE program: School Performance And Community Empowerment. It also works with Magen David Adom and several other Israeli nonprofits.

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