Opinion: The directors of the ice cream company have fallen prey to a mendacious campaign whose leaders openly declare that they want to eradicate Israel, the only Jewish state in the world; in truth, it is the Palestinians who have consistently rejected every proposal for peace
A protest by the BDS movement in London (Photo: citizenside.com)
Dear Ben & Jerry’s directors,
I do not like boycotts, for they are seldom justified. Nor am I a devout supporter of Israeli rule in Judea and Samaria.
And although your ice cream has been my favorite until now, from this point on I intend to boycott it.
In fact, anyone who opposes racism, lies, incitement, human rights abuses should boycott your ice cream.
For even if you did not have racist or anti-Semitic intentions – which is actually the same thing – your boycott is another success story for the racist and anti-Semitic campaign that opposes the very existence of just one state in the whole world: the Jewish state.
This is what you should know about with campaign, which is led by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).
This campaign has no interest in peace nor in ending the occupation.
Yes, there are pure-hearted and honest people who support a peaceful, violence-free solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and who also support this campaign. But they have been deceived.
They do not know the facts. And in order to know the facts, you should listen to what the creators and leaders of this campaign have to say.
Omar Barghouti also openly declared that “no Palestinian will agree to a Jewish state.” Similar remarks have come from Ali Abunimah, who pronounced that the two-state solution has “no chance of being implemented.”
The same is true of Prof. As’ad AbuKhalil, who wrote that he agreed that “the real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel” and that this “should be stated as an unambiguous goal.”
In fact, there is not a single key activist in the boycott campaign that supports a fair solution of two states for two peoples.
Here and there, the leaders of the campaign are content with a boycott solely of the territories.
But every boycott serves their campaign, spreading tales and perpetuating the conflict and suffering for both peoples.
Is this the struggle you support?
We need peace based on the compromises that have been proposed since the conflict began.
In fact, allow me to give you a brief review of the history:
As early as 1937, the Peel Commission proposed a solution that gave Jews just 4% of the original Palestine. The leader of the Palestinian Arabs at the time was the Nazi Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini.
He said no. And when a decade later this became the United Nations Partition Plan, the mufti was there again to lead the refusals.
This same refusal led to both the Palestinian Nakba, when 715,000 people became what are today known as Palestinians, and a Jewish Nakba, when 850,000 Jews were forced to leave or be deported from Arab nations where they lived.
There have also been compromise proposals in recent decades. In 2000, Bill Clinton offered the Palestinians a state on about 96% of the territories, with additional land from Israel to make up the shortfall.
The Palestinians again said no. Several years passed, and in 2008 they said no again to a similar proposal by then-prime minister Ehud Olmert.
They said no again in 2014 to a proposal by John Kerry and Barack Obama.
It may have been possible to achieve peace. There were indeed here and there Palestinian leaders who were inclined to compromise. But the leaders of the boycott campaign continued in the path of the mufti, standing up to oppose any compromise.
So I must ask again: Is this the campaign you support?
You can visit Israel. In fact, you should.
Israel is a vibrant democracy. Israel itself has a majority who support a historic compromise to end the conflict.
There is also strong criticism among some members of the population, including some people who sit in Knesset, over the continuation of the settlement project.
But the settlements were never the obstacle to peace. Remember the settlements in the Gaza Strip that were all evacuated by the Israeli government?
In fact, even today the settlements take up just a tiny percentage of the Palestinian territories.
Anyone who supports a solution of two states for two peoples knows that Arabs will continue to live in Israel, where they comprise 20% of the population, and a small percentage of Jews will be able to keep living in the Palestinian state.
As such, your boycott decision does not serve human rights or peace or reconciliation or compromise.
Your decision only serves the campaign of incitement against the existence of one country out of all the countries of the world: The State of Israel.
Your decision is also contrary to the winds that are blowing today in most Arab countries, where they know all too well that Palestinian refusal is the real problem and not Israel.
According to a survey conducted by the Zogby Institute a few months ago, most residents of Arab countries support normalization with Israel.
And what about you? To which side do you belong? Are you on the side of those who want peace and normalization or for those who cultivate boycotts and hatred?
Do you understand that you have chosen the wrong side? Are you able to reverse your unfortunate decision?
I hope so.