Anuradha Mittal, the head of Ben & Jerry’s board of directors and vice president of Ben & Jerry’s Foundation Inc., won this year’s Antisemite of the Year competition, a project of the watchdog StopAntisemitism.
“There must be consequences for those who spew hatred and bigotry against the Jewish people and nation,” said StopAntisemitism founder and Executive Director Liora Rez. “Being a finalist in this annual competition is one of those consequences.”
Mittal spearheaded Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop selling its ice cream to Jews living in various parts of Israel, a decision that StopAntisemitism said was “clearly not made for the sake of the Palestinian people who are now also unable to purchase a pint from the Vermont ice cream maker. This is a blatantly antisemitic boycott.”
Multiple US states have divested their pension fund holdings from Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever, in response to the boycott. The company’s stock price also took a blow.
Moreover, Mittal made the controversial decision in 2018 to have Ben & Jerry’s partner with Linda Sarsour, an American-Palestinian activist who was booted from the Women’s March for promoting hatred towards the Jewish people and nation.
Mittal is the founder and executive director of the Oakland Institute, a “policy think tank” which falsely accused Israel of apartheid, colonialism and more. She has inappropriately leveraged her status at Ben & Jerry’s to fund antisemitic projects through the Oakland Institute, to organizations like Badil, a Palestinian group with ties to terror organizations and a history of vile Jew-hatred that includes publishing Nazi-era cartoons.
“For us and for the voters, Mittal was clearly the 2021 Antisemite of the Year,” said Rez. “The Ben & Jerry’s boycott is shamelessly biased, and Mittal’s commitment to promoting her antisemitic and anti-Israel agenda is deplorable.
“The way she has leveraged her namesake and power in the corporate world to promote antisemitic initiatives is horrendous,” Rez continued. “Sadly, Ben and Jerry’s corporate antisemitism is not an isolated case. “StopAntisemitism has found antisemitic incidents in many large American corporations in our 2021 report. It doesn’t matter how much influence they have, we’re here to hold antisemites accountable for their bigoted actions.”
The second and third place winners were English singer and songwriter Dua Lipa and US Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R - Georgia).
Rez said that through social media and our other promotional methods, this year’s contest reached millions of individuals online.
“When we first began publicizing the contest, a lot of people commented that they were surprised certain individuals on our list had previously espoused antisemitic beliefs,” she said. “For example, a makeup artist reached out to us saying he’s worked on the set for a Dua Lipa project, and that he would never have agreed to work with her had he known about her antisemitism.”
StopAntisemitism was founded in 2018 as a watchdog dedicated to holding antisemites accountable and creating consequences for their actions. The Antisemite of the Year competition brings wide-scale attention to those who espouse antisemitic rhetoric or commit acts of antisemitism and lets them know their actions will not go unnoticed.
“We will continue to call out antisemitism wherever and whenever we see it,” Rez said.
This article was written in cooperation with StopAntisemitism.