Ben & Jerry’s joins the long list of failed “boycotts” of Israel – analysis



Comments that suggest it’s not fair

In a confusing statement posted online this week, ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s said, “We have a longstanding partnership with our licensee who makes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel and distributes it in the region. We have been working to change this, so we have informed our licensee that we will not renew the license agreement when it expires at the end of next year. “

However, the company said it would “remain in Israel by a different arrangement”.

It remains to be seen whether this is a sign of entrepreneurial virtue or whether something really changes. Do people have to smuggle ice cream across the Green Line? What happens to the cherished flavors for Palestinians who like the pints?

Since none of this is clear and people are being asked to continue supporting the local company that makes the product, the only real effect so far has been the hand-wringing on social media. Is this decision a win for the movement that wants to boycott Israel, and what has that movement achieved in the past few decades?

The will to boycott Israel has existed since the country was founded in 1948. It has manifested itself in many ways, notably in the refusal of a number of countries to recognize the Jewish state. They have done various things over the years, such as trying to criminalize trade with Israel, or even using oil exploration as a weapon to threaten the US after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and getting over western support complained for Israel.

This seemed to be effective in some ways during the Cold War. The so-called “non-aligned” movement was often hostile to Israel, which even lost friends in places in Africa and Iran as a friend after the 1979 Iranian revolution.

However, this serious attempt to boycott and even block Israel and influence Western law firms largely failed after the end of the Cold War.

In 2016, Israel and Russia celebrated 25 years since the restoration of relations, and in 2017 Israel and India celebrated 25 years of relations. New normalization agreements with the Gulf, the so-called Abraham Accords, and new relations with Morocco and Sudan show that Israel is anything but isolated.

But that doesn’t mean all is well. The United Nations World Conference Against Racism (WCAR), a landmark international event that ended in Durban, South Africa in 2001, demonstrated the level of hatred against Israel. It was kidnapped by several countries, mainly from the Islamic world, and used against the Jewish state.

We have seen this type of extremism emerge from time to time, such as the anti-Semitic chatter of Malaysia’s former leader Mahathir Mohammed and also the extremism that comes from Turkey. However, evidence shows that the Turkish-Israeli trade continues despite the rhetoric.

What is left of the “boycott” movement seems to be mainly some privileged activists in the West who ascribe things like “boycott, divestment and sanctions” or the so-called BDS. There have been many high profile campaigns by these groups over the years to advance efforts towards their boycott goal. However, it is unclear whether any of these efforts were successful.

The UN published a list of 112 companies with “links” to Israeli settlements in 2020, and the European Union, for example, has attempted to label goods produced through the Green Line as allegedly produced in Israeli settlements.

But few goods are produced there, because the little secret of Israel’s role in the West Bank is that it doesn’t have a big economy.

In 2004, the BDS movement targeted Soda Stream to operate a facility in Mishor Adumim. But most of these boycott campaigns, including some limited divestments, have been judged to have failed.

IT MAY also be an elephant in the room.

“The more that [term] As it becomes part of the mainstream, it becomes more difficult for companies and investment review agencies to physically separate what is going on in Israel from what is going on in the Occupied Territories, â€Michael Lynk, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, told Reuters recently With.

In fact, major human rights groups have recently claimed that all areas Israel controls are “apartheid,” not just Israel’s role in the West Bank. This is apparently an attempt to harmonize with the extremist Palestinian rhetoric “from river to seaâ€. This also fits with activists in the West who campaign for the “one-state solution,†which consists of a handful of people.

So what does it come down to? Israel’s GDP continues to grow and, despite its small population, the country is doing well compared to its competitors. Israeli high-tech companies are also receiving a massive influx of investment, raising around $ 10 billion in the first five months of 2021 alone.

If this is what a “boycott” looks like, one wonders what Israel would be like without the boycott. The reality of decisions like the one made by ice cream makers seems to be that it takes them years to even comment and then don’t even know how to implement their decision.

Other corporate giants are, of course, making decisions that some Israelis see as “boycotting” communities in the West Bank. McDonald’s does not open branches on the Green Line. It’s not clear whether this made any difference: Israeli hamburger places can open their own stores instead of McDonald’s.

INDICATED THAT the aim of many extremist activists is inconsistent with international law and logic, the actual results of the boycotts appear to have been undermined. This is because the supporters of these boycotts don’t really want to just isolate Israeli settlements; Rather, their goal was the eradication of Israel, along with the “one-state” activists and “river-to-sea” preachers.

By grasping so much and thinking that they are going to achieve some sort of “South Africa model” with regard to Israel, they seem to be losing the overall battle.

Similarly, pro-Israel voices suggesting that it is not fair for an ice cream company to sell in Syria rather than the West Bank overlook the message. War-torn Syria is almost a failed state. The comparison is pointless.

Syria is isolated and under sanctions. The argument, which tends to present it as unfair that Israel is not treated like Iran, Syria and North Korea, backfires if one asks whether pro-Israel activists would prefer companies to unite Israel with these regimes Throw pot.

How would that help Israel? Precisely because the Jewish state is one of the most successful countries in the world, a global partner for trade and investment that spawns world-changing technologies, and some wonder if they can pressure the Israeli government to make peace with the Palestinians by in some way of boycott.

Boycotts don’t work against Iran, North Korea and the Syrian regime because most of them have already been boycotted. Iran has to overhaul old Boeing 747, C-130 and F-14 because it has often not been able to buy new aircraft from the west since the 1970s.

Israel now flies the latest F-35s. If one wants to ask if the “boycott” made any difference, look at these realities.



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