An NGO in Israel wants to market their own version of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the West Bank areas controlled by Israel. Shurat HaDin says that they have already moved to take over the rights to the brand name in those areas. They believe that legally Ben & Jerry’s decision last week to boycott Israel means that they have forfeited their copyrights in these places.
Shurat Hadin says that it defends Israel against lawsuits, academic and economic boycotts, and challenges those who seek to delegitimize the Jewish State, through a worldwide legal offensive against Israel’s enemies.
Shurat HaDin’s President Nitsana Darshan-Leitner sent a letter to the British based global company Unilever saying, “The Shurat HaDin Law Center has now registered a commercial entity with the Israeli registry of corporations called “Judea and Samaria’s Ben & Jerry’s.”
“We intend to use the Ben & Jerry’s name and match the Vermont company’s current ice cream line, as well as add on new flavors and products,”
Darshan-Leitner added that they are, “confident we can expand the business into each community in the territory you have abandoned.”
So will they succeed? Will there still be an Israeli Ben & Jerry’s? Well, the legalities involved here are complex, but we wouldn’t hold our breath.
Meanwhile, Republican politicians in America are pushing for an American boycott of Ben & Jerry’s. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) stated on Twitter, “If Ben & Jerry’s wants to have a meltdown & boycott Israel, OK is ready to respond. Oklahoma has an anti-boycott of Israel law in place.”
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) issued his own statement saying that Ben & Jerry’s is now violating American law which prohibits any company from taking part in boycotts of Israel. Calling the company’s move a disgrace that targets hundreds of thousands of Jewish customers abroad with this discriminatory boycott, the Congressman said that, “New York State must now follow the 2016 Executive Order that prohibits state agencies from conducting business with institutions or companies that promote BDS, and requires the OGS Commissioner to maintain and update a list of entities participating in BDS. Both Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever need to be immediately added to the OGS list, and the state needs to end any current business and suspend any future business with either company.”