The Absurd Ben & Jerry’s Panic Is No Laughing Matter

It is part of a chilling campaign to stifle free speech here in the U.S. and to delegitimize all protest of Israel’s illegal occupation.

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The Israeli government’s panicked reaction to the announcement that Ben & Jerry’s would no longer sell its products in the occupied Palestinian territories has been amusing to watch, but it is part of a chilling campaign to stifle free speech here in the US and to delegitimize all protest of Israel’s illegal occupation. Senior government officials have labeled the decision to respect international law and not sell in the occupied territories as anti-Semitism and terrorism, and they have called on almost three dozen American state governors to enforce their blatantly unconstitutional anti-BDS laws against the company. On one level, this is absurd and the Israeli government is making a mockery of itself, but this is no laughing matter.

When you watch the Israeli government denounce an ice cream company for recognizing the distinction between Israel’s illegal settlements and Israel itself, it is important to remember that the same government wants to erase that distinction. The government would not be reacting so furiously if it were otherwise. When the Israeli government launches an all-out assault on a company for boycotting illegal settlements in illegally occupied territories as an attack on Israel, it is because they see those settlements as an integral part of Israel and they mean to keep expanding them. While they pursue their creeping annexation, they want to intimidate foreign companies from protesting against it. The government wants to make an example of Ben & Jerry’s because they fear that more companies will follow suit unless the costs of doing so are deemed to be prohibitive.

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Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

6 thoughts on “The Absurd Ben & Jerry’s Panic Is No Laughing Matter”

  1. Current affairs is pulling closet idiots out in the open all over the world. Israel upset because others around the globe aren’t buying to claim of entire Middle East proclaimed in Tora. Prospective completely mired in religion causing blindness from overshadowing beliefs. Depth of situation alludes rational thought when triggered by the ‘Ice Cream Man’ refusing to accept bloody shekels on the wrong side of the fence…

    1. Nice writing& well put! All this G-d gave it to us talk is heresay. Maybe get him to reaffirm with personal appearence..

  2. Will this event become the end of Ben & Jerry’s or the end of U.S. state laws that try to criminalize & sanction those who support the BDS movement. When our Federal Lawmakers are so corrupted by campaign contrabutions and arm twisting, it is important for ” We The People” who receive no Zio bribes, only Zio-Ripoffs come out to call and disrupt the Ziobribes racket, where the politicians send our hard earned tax money that they conficate from us tax payers to the apartheid occupiers of the Holy Land. And they direct “campaign contrabutions” to these same politicians. It’s a Quid Pro Quo by action and secret understanding. 100s of Thanks to Maj. Danny for taking.on this important fight.
    We should not allow a nuclear apartheid occupier state to dictate the loss of our free speech rights here in the U.S.A.!!!!!!!

  3. They just backed down on evictions in E. Jerusalem, they’ll likely back down on this too.
    The tide is turning and the Sun is setting… And they know it.

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