SWU ads slam Ben & Jerry's Israel boycott at Unilever HQ

The pro-Israel organization also launched a new website titled "Corporate Antisemitism" to combat anti-Jewish rhetoric spread by companies.

 aA refrigerator bearing the Ben & Jerry's logo is seen at a food store in the Jewish settlement of Efrat in the West Bank July 20, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/RONEN ZEVULUN)
aA refrigerator bearing the Ben & Jerry's logo is seen at a food store in the Jewish settlement of Efrat in the West Bank July 20, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/RONEN ZEVULUN)

The pro-Israel educaion organization StandWithUs launched a campaign to detect and expose corporate antisemitism earlier this month, most recently targeting Unilever in Northern New Jersey.

Their campaign will use billboards, direct mail and digital advertising to call out any anti-Jewish bigotry. Their most recent endeavor will be posting billboards near Unilever’s Englewood Cliffs headquarters. The messages on the billboards say "Don’t Let Ben & Jerry’s Melt Your Profits,” and “Don’t Let Antisemitism Melt Your Brand,” The New York Post reported on Sunday.  

The campaign's initial focus is to educate businesses and consumers on Unilever and Ben and Jerry's, whose decision to stop selling their ice cream in east Jerusalem and the West Bank made headlines in July. 

The pro-Israel organization also launched a new website to combat anti-Jewish rhetoric spread by companies as part of the campaign. The website describes corporate antisemitism as "a corporation or business promotes or enables hatred and discrimination against Jewish people individually or as a group." 

The website cites examples of corporate antisemitism such as Volkswagen, which as a German company established during Nazi rule, used Jewish people to do forced labor in its factories, operated four concentration camps and eight labor camps.

 StandWithUs ad in The New York Post. (credit: STANDWITHUS) StandWithUs ad in The New York Post. (credit: STANDWITHUS)

The entire campaign will also use the IHRA definition of antisemitism as the standard whether to consider if statements by corporations fall under discrimination.

"According to legal experts, Unilever can reverse this boycott of Israel, as they should. But until they do, the pressure will continue to mount in a variety of ways, including potential financial loss," said Roz Rothstein, the CEO of StandWithUs. "Increasing numbers of people will find alternatives to buying Ben and Jerry's ice cream. It is surprising that Unilever is letting this go for so long, potentially damaging their brand. 

“Corporations hold immense power to shape public opinion and cultural norms, and it is crucial to hold them accountable when they promote or enable antisemitism,” Rothstein also said, even penning a letter last month, co-signed by Israeli-American Coalition For Action, to Unilever CEO Alan Jope, stating that Unilever has the ability and obligation to overturn Ben and Jerry's decision. 

The letter describes how Unilever nor its subsidiary company had mentioned how boycotting Israel would be "commercially reasonable," and points out that numerous states have initiated their own boycotts of Unilever as a result.