Sweet victory


Ben & Jerry’s and its parent company Unilever have recently canceled their plans to boycott the sale of their products in Judea and Samaria (aka West Bank), Israel.  This is a major setback for the BDS movement and corporate antisemitism.

For the past year the Rhode Island Coalition for Israel (RICI), the only local pro-Israel, grassroots activist organization of Christians and Jews, along with the participation of dozens of other community members, and many other organizations across the country, has been working steadily on many levels to stop the this corporate antisemitism.

RICI has led the fight in RI against the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and Unilever for its vicious, antisemitic action to boycott its products only in the Jewish State of Israel.

RICI has taken the following actions:  promoted a boycott of all Unilever products; brought awareness to social media, State Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Attorney General Peter Neronha, and our Washington delegation; organized public education protests on the issue; and worked with other organizations and allies.

RICI also appealed to incoming Unilever board member Nelson Peltz, and we believe he was instrumental in forcing the company to cancel plans to boycott.

Ben & Jerry’s will no longer boycott Israel, Unilever announced a few weeks ago, after reaching a business settlement with the ice-cream company’s Israeli licensee Avi Zinger.  The settlement will allow him to sell Ben & Jerry’s under its Hebrew and Arabic names throughout sovereign Israel and Judea and Samaria.

The company stated “Unilever rejects completely and repudiates unequivocally any form of discrimination or intolerance.  Antisemitism has no place in any society. We have never expressed any support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement and have no intention of changing that position.”

Judi Dill

RICI Board Member