NEWS & ANALYSIS

Pushing Back Against Selective Bigotry: Ben and Jerry's Franchise Owners Seek Repeal of Israel Boycott


Following a decision by Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever, to boycott areas in Israel, franchise owners in several American cities wrote a letter requesting a repeal. 

“There is a danger that the pursuit of social justice will descend into political correctness or result in the adoption of overly simplistic solutions by people who share a single view of the world that misconstrue complex problems in which multiple claims of justice are implicated,” the letter stated, per the Daily Wire. “The imposition of such narrow prescriptions does not advance social justice or the pursuit of a values-led business in any meaningful way.” 

“The decision that has been made to terminate the contract with Ben & Jerry’s licensee in Israel not only distorts the situation on the ground—it has imposed and will to continue to impose, substantial financial costs on all of us. More importantly, the controversy your recent actions have brought upon our local businesses has had an adverse effect on the value of our independently owned franchises and investments. … Friends and family, neighbors and other businesses we work with have shamed us personally for doing business not just with a company that draws controversy, but with one that continues to consider the calculated negative [effect] (SIC) on its franchisees as acceptable collateral damage.” 

The letter concluded: “Those who feel strongly about Israel that they want to boycott it or some part of the territory it administers are free to do so. They cannot, however, do that at our expense. We believe this decision needs to be re-examined and withdrawn.”