NEWS & ANALYSIS

Dissident Ben & Jerry's Shop Owner Fights Back Against Corporate Bigotry, Wins Customers


You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream, especially when the store owner fights back against Ben & Jerry’s corporate freeze on sales in the West Bank, Israel. 

Customers flocked to an Upper West Side Ben & Jerry’s Thursday to save the shop after corporate froze sales in the West Bank. 

Customers applauded dissident owner Joel Gasman for taking a stand against the boycott, and celebrated his vow to donate proceeds to education in Israel. 

“I’m trying to celebrate my feelings about the occupation with my support of a local businessperson,” one customer said, according to the New York Post

“This guy who owns the store is a very good neighborhood person…he’s just trying to make a living. 

Indeed, sales at the New York City shop plummeted after Ben & Jerry’s issued a boycott on Israeli-occupied areas last week. 

“It’s been very heartwarming,” Gasman said of the customer support. “We had a family come from New Jersey today, they drove in – paid two tolls – and they said they wouldn’t go to any other Ben & Jerry’s. “

Gasman, who is Jewish, said his shop faced heaps of negative comments online, and some customers even canceled catering events. 

He first spoke out on Facebook last week, vowing to donate 10 percent of his store’s profits to educational causes in Israel. 

“I’m very happy that they made this decision [to donate] because there is a name for people who don’t want to do business with Jews, and the name is anti-Semite,” customer Joseph Telushkin said. “So, this is very impressive.” 

Despite the support, Gasman said the future of his shop is still uncertain. “We don’t know what, really, we have in store for us going forward,” he said. “At least I got my message out.”