UN discrimination against Jews ensnares Unilever and J Street

J Street’s readiness to defend Ben and Jerry's is appalling. No Jewish organisation should defend boycott decisions against Jews. Op-ed.

David Singer ,

Dry Bones: Unilever and J Street
Dry Bones: Unilever and J Street
|Y.. |Kirschen

The United Nations (UN) false designation of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem as the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” (OPT) has seen the sorry spectacle this week of:

  • A multinational corporation – Unilever PIC (Unilever) – discriminating against the sale of ice cream to Jews who live in those areas by its wholly owned subsidiary Ben and Jerry’s and
  • A Jewish organisation – J Street – defending Unilever’s decision.

The term “Occupied Palestinian Territories” ignores the 1948 Arab-Israeli War that saw every Jew living in those territories prior to 1948 being:

  • driven out and expelled from their homes and businesses by the invading army of Transjordan and
  • prevented from returning to resume life there until the conclusion of the Six Day War in 1967.

Moreover this loaded anti-Jewish term papers over the destruction, damage and vandalizing of Jewish synagogues, cemeteries and properties during the 19 years those areas remained Judenrein.

Had the UN any intellectual honesty in presenting a fair and balanced account of what happened between 1948 and 1967 – it would be calling these territories the “Disputed Territories”. Its continuing failure to do so indicates the disturbing anti-Jewish bias that permeates the United Nations and its agencies.

Ben and Jerry’s press release headlined “Occupied Palestinian Territory” (below) has clearly influenced Unilever’s decision to allow the policy of discriminating against Jews living there - whilst being more than happy to continue selling its ice cream to those Jew-haters who:

  • Forcibly evicted and expelled all the Jews living there between 1948 and 1967
  • Murder and maim Jews living there now on an ongoing basis and are financially rewarded for doing so.

Ben & Jerry Issues Statement on Israel - Worthy Watch

Strange values indeed for a multinational organisation to embrace – values that are leading Unilever into growing commercial challenges internationally by those decent enough to not share Unilever’s perverse values.

Even more disturbing and reprehensible is this J Street defence of Ben and Jerry’s anti-Jewish discrimination policy:

It's been stunning to see ice cream become the latest battleground in the Israeli-Palestinian debate. The uproar can be painful for all of us who care so deeply about the future of Israel, its people and its democracy. All of us who know that the kind of Israel we hope for depends on ensuring the rights and freedom of the Palestinian people, and feel that our Jewish values compel us to stand up for what's right. Together, we need to make clear that right-wing voices don’t speak for all of us.

J Street gets it very wrong in relying on false and misleading decades-old UN propaganda when making the following claims:

  • The battleground is not the “Israeli-Palestinian debate” – it is the “Jewish-Arab conflict” - begun 100 years ago with the 1920 San Remo Conference and Treaty of Sevres and still unresolved - when there were no “Israelis” or “Palestinians” – only “Arabs” and “Jews”.

The “Palestinian people” was not defined until 1964 – a racist and apartheid Arabs-only definition that excludes all non-Arabs and Jews who lived in Palestine after 1917.

  • The “rights and freedom of the Palestinian People” specifically excluded any claim by its sole spokesman – the Palestine Liberation Organisation - to sovereignty in “the West Bank of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan” - or the right to establish a separate State there – in addition to Jordan – which occupies 78% of former Palestine.
  • “Illegal settlements” are “legal” under article 6 of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter.

Words do count.

J Street’s readiness to defend Unilever’s decision is appalling. No self-respecting Jewish organisation espousing “our Jewish values” should ever defend decisions discriminating against Jews.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN – Yehuda Blum –confronted the UN General Assembly and trashed its treatment of the Jewish-Arab conflict on 16 November 1978:

"The history of international conflicts, and particularly those with complex historical origins, can only be properly written by objective historians who enjoy complete academic freedom. The practice of writing and rewriting history according to the transient interests of a political body is of course characteristic of certain regimes. It is regrettable that the United Nations has now been drawn into that pattern.”

Ben and Jerry's and J Street have seemingly swallowed the UN’s pernicious rewriting of history to justify discrimination against Jews because of where they live.

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades.



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