Israeli students punk Ben & Jerry’s: guilty of occupying tribal land?
A group of more than 1,000 Israeli students recently wrote to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream pointing out that the company’s headquarters in Vermont sits “illegally” on American Indian land.
As The New York Post reported, the students write,
“We have concluded that your company’s occupation of the Abenaki lands is illegal and we believe it is wholly inconsistent with the stated values that Ben & Jerry’s purports to maintain. Ironically, in July of the last year you announced that you would discontinue the sale of your products in Israel because you object to the Jewish State allegedly occupying Palestinian territories.”
The Abenaki nation is an American Indian tribe the state of Vermont has recognized as among the indigenous residents of the land since 2012.
The letter-writing campaign, supported by the Israeli lawfare group Shurat ha-Din, comes in response to Ben & Jerry’s scandalous decision a year ago to boycott Jewish “settlements” in Judea and Samaria. As they said at the time, “We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).”
Pre-Columbian peoples have lived in the area of Vermont for approximately 13,000 years, but, according to the students’ letter, “Ben and Jerry’s has never even offered to provide compensation to this indigenous nation in Vermont.”
The students concluded that the company must vacate its Vermont properties and repatriate the land back to its indigenous inhabitants.
This is Jewish leadership in action. Unlike the Jewish establishment, which is flaccid and flummoxed by the mounting attacks on Jews, these students provide a model for how to strike back at those who harass and slander us. Ben & Jerry’s despicable participation in BDS must be resisted in precisely this way — by exposing the hypocrisy which allows them to engage in such behavior.
To see more of this kind of leadership, go to www.jewishleadershipproject.org.