KOSHER retailers in Australia took part this week in a global Jewish protest against the Ben & Jerry’s boycott.
Contacted by the AJN on Tuesday afternoon in Ripponlea, Melbourne, Kraus said: “Due to Ben & Jerry’s recent decision … we will no longer stock their line.”
The sentiment was echoed by Kosher Kingdom in Elsternwick, who said they were “working to remove the brand”.
On Tuesday evening, the store had posted online: “As a result of recent statements from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, we have decided to stop selling their product… we stand behind Israel.”
Krinskys in Bondi told the AJN it was not a brand they had in stock.
Ben & Jerry’s was also removed from the Kashrut Authority of Australia and New Zealand directory.
In the US, meanwhile, there was pressure on social media to convince kosher certifier KOF-K to remove Ben & Jerry’s hechsher as a growing number of kosher supermarkets announced they would stop stocking Ben & Jerry’s products.
City leaders in Australia reacted to the ice cream maker’s decision.
The president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, Jeremy Leibler, said: “This move leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It is a sad and sad example of a company buying the anti-Israel BDS agenda. Ben & Jerry’s size and popularity offers it an opportunity to bring Israelis and Palestinians together. Instead, this will drive them further apart.”
Colin Rubenstein, chief executive of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, agreed. “Ben & Jerry’s will stop selling its ice cream to 440,000 Israelis and five million Palestinians in the Palestinian Territories because it is ‘inconsistent’ with their values. We tell Ben & Jerry’s that your decision is not in line with a two-state peace.”
The boycott was “intended to make the decision-makers at Ben & Jerry’s feel virtuous and aligned with fashionable progressive goals,” Australian Jewry Executive Council co-CEO Alex Ryvchin said. the AJNStopping the sale of ice cream to Jews living on the wrong side of a lifted truce will have no practical effect. It will not cause any policy change or promote the resumption of negotiations. It will only add to a dangerous notion that Jews living in East Jerusalem and the West Bank pose a serious threat to world peace and that their isolation and removal is a burning priority that surpasses dozens of territorial disputes and nationalist conflicts. This is a sentiment that has violently attacked Jews around the world.”
Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission, said: “No other country, region or nation has been punished by Ben & Jerry’s and denied access to its products, and something is fundamentally wrong when the world’s only inhabitants are discriminated against are Jewish citizens.”
However, executive director of the New Israel Fund Australia, Liam Getreu, disagreed. “It is only reasonable to make a distinction between the State of Israel and the land it occupies,” he said. “Every country around the world – including Israel, the US and Australia – recognizes that there is a difference between a sovereign state and the country it occupies.
“Furthermore, attacking people who try to differentiate between sovereign and non-sovereign Israel by calling them anti-Semitic is a de facto evasion, abuse of the meaning of ‘anti-Semitism’ and ultimately those who would try to work towards a future of equality and justice for both Israelis and Palestinians.”
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