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Breaking: Ben & Jerry's Claims Israel Boycott is not Antisemitic

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow
The Truth Network Radio
July 28, 2021 1:00 pm

Breaking: Ben & Jerry's Claims Israel Boycott is not Antisemitic

Sekulow Radio Show / Jay Sekulow & Jordan Sekulow

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July 28, 2021 1:00 pm

Is Ben & Jerry's boycott of Israel Antisemitic or not? Ben & Jerry's board put out a statement recently stating that it's "inconsistent with their values" to serve their ice cream in what they call "the occupied Palestinian territory." Jay, Jordan, and the rest of the Sekulow team - including ACLJ Senior Advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy Ric Grenell - discuss this outrageous move and the global problem of antisemitism. All this and more today on Sekulow .

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Breaking news and a head scratcher. Ben & Jerry's claims its Israel boycott is not anti-Semitic. We'll talk about it today on Secular.

Live from Washington, D.C., Secular Live. I think it's not too much to say that Ben & Jerry's ice cream is boycotting a country that is solidly for human rights and in favor of a territory that on a daily basis discriminates against people. Phone lines are open for your questions right now. Call 1-800-684-3110. The idea that somehow they're doing good by punishing the country that is a beacon of human rights in the area is a sickness.

I just don't see how it's an upside-down world and I don't see how people can view it any other way. And now, your host, Jordan Sekulow. Welcome to Sekulow. We are taking phone calls at 1-800-684-3110. You may have seen in the news this issue involving Ben & Jerry's, of course. Ben & Jerry's, which is owned by a huge international conglomerates traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Unilever, which, I mean, other brands, just so you know. But to explain, you know, it's not Ben & Jerry's anymore in the sense of it's not just a Vermont company. It has been bought by a multinational company that owns brands like Dove, Axe, Body Spray, Hellman's, Mayonnaise.

The list goes on and on. Ben & Jerry's is actually kind of a mid-level to small company in this conglomerate. But they were allowed to keep an independent board and that independent board put out a statement on July 19th saying that they believe it's inconsistent with their values to have Ben & Jerry's ice cream. So they are politicizing ice cream, which if any company were to do that, it would be Ben & Jerry's. They have a lot of political, even there's a Colin Kaepernick ice cream and all these different things, but that they will no longer have the ice cream sold in what they call the occupied Palestinian territory. Let's explain to people right off the bat, Dan, what that means because Ben & Jerry's wants to have this both ways. They sure do.

If you're at the beach in Tel Aviv, they want you to be able to have a Ben & Jerry's. Right. But if you are in a West-based, what they'd call settled… Who we represent. Yes.

You would not be. I mean, so first of all, they make this conclusion. When they talk about occupied Palestinian territory, understand they're also talking about East Jerusalem. And their history is incorrect because in 1967 when the Arab countries attacked Israel, remember, it was the Arab countries that were defeated and the Israelis reclaimed, which was originally their land anyways, East Jerusalem, which is where you have the Western Wall and you have the Old City. Okay. Where you go if you visit Israel.

Yes. The place you go, primarily the first place you go to, one of the first places you go to. So the occupied Palestinian territory, they have made a legal conclusion that this is Palestinian territory. And they've made another legal conclusion, Ben & Jerry's.

They should stick to ice cream, by the way. And they made another incorrect legal conclusion, and that is that this is occupied Palestinian territory. It's not occupied Palestinian territory, it's Israeli sovereign land. We represent some of these settlements. These settlements, by the way, have 20,000 people in them. They call them settlements because they were started after 1967. Some of these settlements are 50, 60 years old. But the hypocrisy here, Andy, is really unbelievable.

We only have a minute here. Yeah, not only hypocrisy, but the ignorance of history, what Israel simply did in 1967 was reclaim the territory that justifiably belonged to it. And now the ice cream business people are making decisions on legal matters based upon historical matters that are inaccurate. And as you said, they need to stick to ice cream and stay out of politics because they don't know what they're talking about when they say they're going back to pre-1967 boundaries.

Those are boundaries that were Israeli territory long before then. You know, and we're going to have former Secretary of State of the ACLJ Senior Counsel Mike Pompeo joining us to discuss this, because this plays right into the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement to have a big company that's part of a big conglomerate. And this conglomerate, when called out, we're going to get into that as well. So we saw the Ben and Jerry's statement. So what is the statement from the actual company that owns Ben and Jerry's now?

And again, that just came out last night. That's why this is back in the news today. Unilever has come out with a statement defending the Ben and Jerry's move.

They want to have this both ways. We'll be right back on Secular. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family. Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, the play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift.

Hey, welcome back to Second Hill. And listen, Vinegar is an industry because it's not a company that has ever shied away from some controversy making political statements. Obviously, it's been kind of a very liberal company. And again, you can make your choice about whether or not you want to buy Ben & Jerry's. But a lot of their franchises, in fact, if you see a Ben & Jerry's in where you live or if you're on vacation, those are independently owned.

You'll always see it on the door. Those are people who just bought a franchise. So they're not necessarily making the same political statement.

Same with Israel. Even if Ben & Jerry's at the corporate level, they allow the franchisee to come in, make the deal and decide where they were going to sell it. And Ben & Jerry's wants this both ways, but it doesn't work. And so let me go to the bigger company. The bigger company here is Unilever.

This is a company, this is basically UK and Dutch, but it's traded on the New York Stock Exchange. They're saying that they're putting all of this on the fact that Ben & Jerry's has an independent board. That was part of the deal when they bought the brand. And so that independent board has made that decision that they don't encourage that. But the independent board, if they're putting forward policies that violate the country, they're doing business in the law of that country, then the independent board should not be able to override Unilever. So here's what I think is important to put the legal context of this in play here. So Ben & Jerry's, the company, has a franchisee in Israel that actually doesn't just sell the ice cream at stores, but actually makes it, manufactures it.

They've had a long-standing relationship with them. Under Israeli law, you cannot, like in the United States, you cannot say, you know what, we're going to sell it to this group, but we're not going to sell it to that group. We're going to sell it to this area, but we're not selling it to that area.

Here's what's happened. You've got a multinational corporation coming in and telling the local franchisee, you cannot sell your product in these areas. Thus, that franchisee, Harry, is now violating Israeli law on human rights and free trade.

Precisely. And so I think it's important to put this on the table, that BDS is a pernicious attack on Israeli sovereignty. And this attack is led largely by elites. First it was academic elites, now it includes corporate elites. And some of these corporate elites have also now joined the critical race movement, and they've refused to condemn genocide, for instance, in China. But now some of these corporations are saying we have to boycott Israel, the most democratic state in the Middle East, where people enjoy a raft of human rights, and they're saying instead that Israel must withdraw from its own sovereign territory.

This makes no sense. It may make corporate elites feel better about themselves, but it is an example of tremendous illogic. But they also, Harry, they don't understand international law.

That's one of the things that's off here is they are making a conclusion, they're making a legal conclusion about an area of Israel and saying that is not Israeli land. Now, they don't get to do that. You are absolutely correct, except it's important to keep in mind that in the corridors of power, many elites see themselves as what?

Morally superior individuals. Therefore, they see that they are above the law. So they become an international tribunal to themselves. Precisely. And that is why litigation is very, very important. Also, anti-BDS legislation is very, very important. We must ensure that these firms, at the end of the day, pay a price. There may be litigation.

That's all I'm going to say right now. What I think is important to point out, too, is this is the boycott divestment section. They are loving this because this is not just the little bit of Jerry's ice cream company. This is the huge Unilever. And this is a brand. Again, let me go through some of the other brands they own.

This is small for them, too. They own Dove, they own Helvins, they own brands that are huge in Europe and throughout the world. I'm just going through a few of their billion dollar brands. I mean, Ben & Jerry's is down the list.

They own all the cleaning products for your home, like laundry detergent. I mean, this is a giant company who has been put in this situation where I think, clearly, if they did make this special arrangement with Ben & Jerry's to have these independent boards, they could still make their political statements. They can't hide behind that.

But you can't hide behind violating the law. This is not just a statement. This is an action.

No, there's an action. They're compelling the franchisee to violate Israeli law, the law that governs the sovereign where they exist. Yeah, and it's hurting the individual franchisees.

It really is. Of course. This decision by a board in Vermont is going to impact a lot of people, both in Israel and other places as well. And the whole BDS movement, Jay, is anti-Semitism writ large.

Anti-Semitism by any other name is still anti-Semitism. And these progressive, left-leaning, woke companies, they really do want it both ways. Well, of course they want it both ways. They say their thing. Although Ben & Jerry's will no longer be sold in the OPT, Occupied Palestinian Territories, we will still be available in Israel through a different arrangement. Well, they also want it both ways in that they want to promote their woke, inconsistent, often hypocritical causes, but they don't want it to affect their bottom line and they don't want to be taken to court. You don't get it both ways. Yeah, well, Andy, the thing that bothers me here, and it's kind of following up what Jordan said, is this is this huge multi-billion dollar corporation.

I mean, it's huge. But they have drawn legal conclusions which are incorrect as a matter of law, not correct on the facts, and in fact violation of Israel's sovereign law. Where they want to continue to do business, by the way. This doesn't bother these left-wing, woke companies who have these political decisions that they want to make in connection with their businesses.

They need to stay out of the political arena and they need to stick to the ice cream arena, which is very good at what they do. Unilever is a multi-national, huge industrial giant of a company, and it has now made a political decision that occupied territories are not going to be engaged, are not going to be sold their products. Who are they to make that decision? Under what authority do they have? Are they some kind of super national world court that makes a decision as to what is and what is not Israel?

I don't think so. But let me read, Jordan, what they say here. We have a long-standing partnership with our licensee who manufactures Ben & Jerry's ice cream in Israel. Long-standing. And distributes it throughout the region. We have been working to change this.

This is unreal. And so we've informed our licensee that we will not renew his license agreement when it expires at the end of next year. We have this great relationship with this licensee. We've had a long-standing one, but because he was going to sell ice cream in Israeli sovereign territory, of course they knew. This is not new to Ben & Jerry's. There's a lot of Ben & Jerry's in Israel. We've been there.

Yes, there's a lot, and that includes what they would call settlements in the West Bank. And so they have this long relationship. They know it's happening, but they are now bowing down to, I guess, pressure on their ice cream company. But this is what happens when you make your ice cream company a political statement, is that you think, you put out statements, you sound like a member of the squad, and except for that you're a company that has to abide by laws, not a politician who can just speak out. We talk about these governments using the court systems. We call it lawfare. And now you've got these businesses using their bully pulpit and their corporate structure, Harry, to create their own kind of lawfare.

I'll come up with what the real statement should be on that, what we should call it, because the legal system is lawfare. But this cancel culture of, we don't agree with what? Israeli decisions on their own land, so we're going to not allow our ice cream to be sold in this town? By the way, the left was going crazy if Christians objected to something because of their conscience.

But here, I guess, it doesn't matter. I think you're precisely correct, but it comes back to what I suggested earlier, this sense of moral superiority. They have an internal moral compass, which is actually superior to international law. But it's also important to note that this moral superiority has indeed been licensed by a number of elite actors on the international stage, including the United Nations, which never misses an opportunity to go after Israel. In addition, you have individuals out there like John Kerry, who again have embraced moral superiority. They refuse to acknowledge international law when it doesn't agree with their own principles. And so I think at the end of the day, opponents of BDS, opponents of what Ben & Jerry has done, they need to fashion strategies designed, in my view, to inflict retaliatory financial and economic wounds on these complicit institutions like Unilever, Lever, and also Ben & Jerry's.

Andy, 30 seconds here. But they're just so wrong as a matter of law, making this determination that this is occupied Palestinian territory. Yes, because they have no authority to make that determination. Look, the determination is not made by an international company or by any company. It's made by the sovereign. Israel is the sovereign in the West Bank. That is now Israeli territory as far as the world is concerned and ought to be concerned.

That is a factor, just like Stuart Varney said with respect to China and Hong Kong. Are you going to stop selling that ice cream in Hong Kong? Are you going to stop selling it in Turkey, a violator of human rights? Are you going to stop selling it in Russia, someone who engages in cybersecurity attacks?

Who are you to make that determination? Exactly right. Yeah, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is going to be joining us the next time.

We will talk about this with him as well. Of course, those historic Abraham Accords that beat back against boycott divestment sanctions. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases, how we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists, the ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later, Planned Parenthood's role in the abortion industry, and what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life. Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our Matching Challenge today. You can make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family.

Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Welcome back to Secula. We are joined by our Senior Counsel for Global Affairs, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Secretary Pompeo, I want to go right to this. We've been talking about the Ben & Jerry's issue. I know people kind of, you know, they hear this and say, what's going on with the Secula talking about ice cream? But this is, Ben & Jerry's, which makes political statements and, you know, you can buy it or not.

People can choose that on their own. But they've been in the news because they announced that they will no longer sell their ice cream in what they call the, quote, occupied Palestinian territories. It's a big movement for the BDS movement, which Secretary Pompeo, I think you effectively, with the Trump administration, had sidelined over these last few years because of the policies in place when you were Secretary of State, the Abraham Accords. This move by the new administration, do you think, I mean, they'd say, we're not going to take away the First Amendment rights, but we don't support BDS. But do you think we're going to see another resurgence of the BDS movement, that they're going to find more friends? Well, Jordan, I think it's almost certainly the case that companies around the world will say that this administration is not full-throatedly in support of Israel and the relationship between the United States and Israel.

And they'll go back to the practices that they had before the Trump administration. Look, we not only made clear that these kinds of activities were unacceptable, that they were an attack on the Zionist project, that they had tinges of anti-Semitism built into them by the very nature of the BDS movement, but we made clear, we ripped off the Band-Aid on 40 years of U.S. policy and made unambiguous that Judea and Samaria were rightful parts of the State of Israel, that Israel is not an occupying nation. This is not apartheid. This is the lone democracy in the Middle East. Those clear statements, those bright lines made the State of Israel stronger and made these BDS movements not only appear, but actually have to acknowledge that the actions they were taking were deeply against the Jewish homeland and were anti-Semitic. You know, one of the things, Mike, that I've thought about on this, and it's not just Ben & Jerry's, but Ben & Jerry's, the tragedy of that situation is, and there may well be some legal action taken on by this franchisee in Israel, but you've got the company coming out with this occupied Palestinian territory determination as if they're some international legal tribunal, which they're not. They forget this is Israeli sovereign land. We represent one of the major, what they call settlements, been there for decades now, and it's like 25,000, 30,000 people, and it's called Gush Etzion. It has a storied history in Israeli war of independence. I mean, they were the last protecting area to keep the invading forces out of Jerusalem.

It's a very interesting story. But it's a huge, I mean, there's a university there. These are not little towns. These are significant developments, and they call them settlements only because they were developed after the 1967 war.

Like I said, some of them are 30, 40, 50 years old. But when you successfully negotiated the Abraham Accords, and we saw this regional cooperation with the Israeli's neighbor, Israel's neighbors, then a move like this kind of counters the narrative. It's really a question of governmentally, we have to maintain the relationship with Israel, and I would hope, I was hoping, it doesn't seem to be the case, that they would try to build on the Abraham Accords, this administration, but I'm not so sure about that right now.

Jay, it breaks my heart. I thought they would immediately acknowledge that the peace that had broken out between these Arab states and Israel, this war on peace, this acknowledgement of Israel's right to exist would be the basis for how the Biden administration would move forward with Israel. And that there would be other countries joined. But you know, they won't even utter the words Abraham Accords.

It's really quite stunning to see peace brokered by one administration and another administration just walking away from trying to build on that. But your point is very well taken on these settlements, and this is really important for your listeners to know. These places that you describe, they use this word settlements very intentionally.

It's as if they're temporary and it is a hostile takeover of this land. But these, I was the first Secretary of State to actually go to Judea and Samaria. These are Israeli lands. Remember this West Bank contains places like cities that your listeners will know, like Bethlehem and Jericho.

These are important places. These are not settlements. This is Israeli sovereign territory.

And I was really, when I became Secretary of State, it was remarkable to see the resistance inside, frankly, the State Department and elsewhere in the United States government to the common sense set of understanding that Israel is not an occupying power. But then you have these corporations jumping in on it, Jordan. It's outrageous, really.

It is. I mean, we have this situation now where you've got a corporate, you know, American corporation but owned by a multinational corporation, and they're trying to have it both ways. Please keep selling it, but don't sell it here. So they're okay with selling it to Israelis who are supposedly being, they're bad, but they don't want to give up all their business there. And I think they've stepped into it.

And again, you can go look and see. I've seen it on social media. There are people engaged in their own private boycotts in the United States. And if you look at your grocery store, Ben & Jerry's might be piling up right now in some parts of the country because of a host of political statements leading to this one, which I think probably pushed a lot of people to the edge. Yesterday on the broadcast, Mike, we were talking about issues with China. You just posted a new article at ACLJ.org called the United States must assert principles of deterrence in response to mounting cyber attacks. How should the administration face China, and Russia for that matter, on these cyber attacks?

Jay, the central thesis is this, these cyber attacks are attacks. And once you start talking about them in that way, once you say these are acknowledged attacks by nation state actors or actors inside of nation states that are hostile to the United States, we must respond to them as we would any other kind of attack. So that means developing a responsive strategy. It means developing a diplomatic outreach. It means prepare to conduct the defensive measures one needs to protect the systems and processes to the cyber world here in the United States and that around the world. And then finally, it means a deterrence model. Just as President Reagan spoke about peace through strength, that would apply to cyberspace as well. We have to be prepared to respond against the attacker and against the place that the attacker launches the attack from.

We need to hold those sovereigns accountable for attacks that come from their sovereign nation and impose real costs, costs at a sufficient level that will adequately deter those kinds of attacks and force them to do the hard work of ensuring that these attacks don't take place on the United States. The final question for you today, Secretary Pompeo, we saw the DOJ drop charges on Monday against five academics with ties to the Chinese military, their Chinese nationals. Now we've talked before about the Chinese Communist Party infiltrating our universities. Do you think it's the wrong message right now to send to China that we're going to drop charges when we know these individuals were, as they told the FBI, were instructed to report back to Beijing? I know an awful lot about these cases.

I want to be very careful. Let me make sure everyone is crystal clear. These individuals committed fraud as they came into the United States. They didn't declare connectivity to the Chinese security services. They were properly indicted. They should have been prosecuted.

And it is outrageous for this administration to kowtow to the Chinese Communist Party by dropping these charges. We appreciate your sensitivity to it. We appreciate the information. Our Senior Counsel for Global Affairs, Mike Pompeo, and of course, a tremendous job as Secretary of State and CIA. I mean, I can't even start going all the way back to Congress. But we appreciate it, Mike.

Thanks for all the insight and the opportunity to look forward to seeing you soon. Folks, this tells you. You're seeing the scope of the ACLJ. By the way, this thing with Ben & Jerry's and this BDS, don't think we're just going to let it go. Trust me, we're not, Jordan.

Yeah, that's right. We don't usually just talk about things on this broadcast. So, again, today we want to educate you about it because it's not just a joke.

Because you needed to learn. Ben & Jerry's is not just Ben & Jerry's. It's a multinational corporation and they cannot have it both ways. They have to also abide by the laws where they operate. They got a lot of brands, by the way, that are on the line in Israel. It's not just their ice cream. I mean, think about Lipton, think about the cleaning solutions, the products.

This company would be in big trouble if they couldn't have any business in Israel. I'm talking about freedom. I'm talking about freedom. We will fight for the right to live in freedom. Live from Washington, D.C., Sekulow Live.

And now, your host, Jordan Sekulow. So, as we just talked about with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, our Senior Counsel for Global Affairs, he's also got a new piece up. I want to remind you at ACLJ.org called The United States Must Assert Principles of Deterrence in Response to Mountie Cyberattacks.

So, that's there at ACLJ.org. We've talked about those cyberattacks. We've seen multiple attacks throughout the summer and from various sources. Very interesting what he said about the five Chinese nationals that were sent back. Yes, so we talked about that yesterday on the broadcast, and then he got into it. And one of the issues, I didn't want to press him on board to share what he could share as the former Secretary of State, but what he said was that they were properly indicted. And one of the excuses from the Biden DOJ was that they weren't. So, you wonder if this is now another political move by the Biden team, not just with China, but they didn't like that the Trump administration was even going after these Chinese nationals. No, I think that was a big part of it, but what I found, Andy, to be the most interesting aspect of what Mike said on this, of course he's got information we'll never have, nor are we entitled to have, but he said that they were indicted, they should have been indicted, and they should have been prosecuted because they committed fraud on their, the allegations they committed fraud on their visa applications.

That's absolutely right, Jay. I mean, the Secretary of State, former Secretary of State, just shared with us, to the extent he could, the reality of the validity of the indictment in the case for lying with respect to their connections to the Chinese military, and then they get a pass. Their indictment is basically quashed by action of the prosecution itself. I mean, the prosecutor on the verge of a trial of the case, which was to start on Monday, on the Friday before, dismisses the case, and then the Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman, goes to China.

I mean, there's something here that, as a career prosecutor, smells, in my opinion, and is not right. Why is that happening? Are we trading our, the obligation that we have to prosecute criminals for some political reason, or some political chips with the Chinese?

Is that what's happening? Why aren't we being told the truth, Jay? Yeah, and I don't understand why Ben & Jerry, let me go back on the Ben & Jerry's thing for a second. Their parent company is doing, which is a multinational corporation, doing business all over the globe, including, by the way, China. Which most do, most multinational businesses would do, so why make political statements? Why do they pick on Israel, though? Selective indignation, it really is, and it's hypocritical.

Yeah, they are anti-Semitic, that's it. Here's the thing also, Jay, there are 34 states that have anti-BDS laws on the books, which they are required to stop doing business with any company that boycotts Israel. These laws need to be activated in these 34 states against Unilever and Ben & Jerry's. If it was activated against Unilever, you would be cleared out half the grocery store. Yes, you would. You would also be taking out their competition, so you'd only have their competition to choose which, of course, you know, for every all that they sell, you've got tied.

So, you know, tied, gained, and all these, I'm not endorsing any of these. I will say this, though, I feel bad for their franchisees. A place where we go a lot for vacation with the kids, there's one of the franchises for Ben & Jerry's, my daughter loves it. I mean, she's not making political statements, she's five years old, and the franchisee isn't either.

I have a feeling where this is located. So, like, this is just a fun franchise, and it's a fun shop, and it comes with all these flavors that people know, but this is going to hurt their business. It's going to make that franchisee think, maybe I should switch this to another brand. Well, that's what could end up happening here, but what you said earlier, Harry, this idea that you've got these corporate elites, they're going to decide what territory is Israel's sovereign territory and which is not. They're going to decide what's occupied territory, as if they have the right to do this. Well, not only that, they are gifted with something else called hypocrisy, because they're quite willing to do business, for instance, with China, but then yet they want to boycott Israel's sovereignty with respect to so-called occupied territories. It makes no sense, but I think at the end of the day, they're quite willing to boycott Israel for purposes of political correctness, but they are going to embrace the enslavement of human beings in China when they can make money off of it.

Will Haines points out that the independent owners of the Ben and Jerry's at West 104th and Broadway in New York will donate 10% of the profits to educational causes in the state of Israel. There you go. But this is hurting all of them. This is going to hurt all of them. That's why these corporations making these political statements are very dangerous. We're going to talk about what that could really result in. And we need to make it dangerous for them.

It needs to be dangerous, not just for their franchisees, but for the big company, too. We'll be right back. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith, uncovering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy, and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress, the ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support.

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Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. So it's interesting what some of these franchisees are doing just to let you know is someone announced in New York on West 104th and Broadway that Ben & Jerry's, which is independently owned, is going to donate 10% of their profits to educational causes in Israel. So they're trying to counter what you're saying, which is the idea that people are going to say, you know, the more they learn about this, it was just it was on Fox News this morning. I saw so the more people who support Israel learn about this, the more they're going to feel uncomfortable, not because of again, this wasn't just a generic political statement. This is what we we have made the case for that this boycott divestment sanctions movement cannot be you cannot divorce it from widespread anti-Semitism.

No, it plays. It is the new anti-Semitism because you can't say, as we talked about with Danny Danone when he when he was the ambassador to the to the UN for Israel. You can't say anywhere. I hate Jews. You can't say that as a as a political leader who's not in it, you know, a fridge group and hate group. But you can't say we should boycott the state of Israel, the Jewish state, and then you're no longer being you're not considered in polite society part of a radical hate group fridge, even though you're making the same statement.

You're right. And it is the new form of anti-Semitism. But look, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs we've worked with over the years is very concerned about this move by Ben and Jerry's to the fact that they the concern focuses on Andy, that this could lead to other corporations doing a mimic campaign, in other words, do the same kind of thing. Now, what makes that also, I think, troubling is that it also in this idea that Ben and Jerry's, the corporation and the parent more particularly, has determined that they will only sell within the pre-67 borders is making a I said this earlier, this legal judgment, which is wrong as a matter of law and and they have no authority to make. But they're politicizing this whole thing. Jay, to respond to two of your points, first of all, yes, this action by Unilever through its subsidiary Ben and Jerry's, and by the way, Unilever cannot say, oh, that's our subsidiary, that's up to them, we have no authority over them, that's nonsense, you're responsible for the acts of your subsidiaries, and I put this squarely in the lap of Unilever to deal with its subsidiary.

And secondly, as you say, who is Unilever? Is it a world court? Is it a super court that we don't know about that makes legal determinations as to the status and extent of sovereignty? I mean, are they now saying, is Hong Kong exempt? Is Hong Kong part of China? Are we going to say we're not going to sell to them because the Chinese have asserted sovereignty over Hong Kong or have tried to? Or the same thing with Turkey, or the same thing with Russia, or the same thing with other countries like Myanmar, and so forth? Are we going to make political decisions based upon that and make a determination whether we're going to sell our ice cream or our soap or cleaning products there because of those reasons? Look, we've got to say it, Jay, this was an anti-Semitic move.

Let's admit it. Yes. No, it is. And here's the thing, anti-Semitic groups, pro-Palestinian activists have been trying to do this for a decade. And the problem is, and the irony of all this is, they get this company, big company, Harry, to do it.

Absolutely. And so I think defenders of Israel, they must be prepared to respond legally and financially. They ought to take heart, I believe, from what Moshe Dayan has suggested earlier, given the fact that the globe has taken a barbarous turn with respect to human rights.

So as Moshe Dayan has observed, to aim and hit you only need one eye only and one good finger. Prompted by this observation and impelled by the declaration that every square inch of the universe is shorn of neutral ground, pugnacious defenders of Israel must be prepared to do what? To pull the trigger, they must engage in an aggressive fight against these multinational corporations and their subsidiaries. They must be called to account.

And at the end of the day, they must pay a price. Look, I can't go into great details other than letting our members know that we're looking at this situation very seriously, the legal ramifications of this very seriously. But let me say this, Jordan, the Israeli government has tried to press Unilever to stop Ben & Jerry's from taking the decision because they have this independent board. Unilever says, well, the company had the right to make that decision because of its corporate responsibility and social justice policy. So they can't escape liability here. No, but this is the issue because Ned Price, State Department spokesperson, who was asked about this from the Biden team, take a listen, because when you first hear, you might say, okay, maybe they're making the right thing, but then there's a follow-up.

So take a listen, Byte 6. I don't have a reaction to offer regarding the actions of a private company. But more broadly, what I will say is that we firmly reject the BDS movement, which unfairly singles out Israel.

While the Biden-Harris administration will fully and always respect the First Amendment rights of our citizens, of the American people, the United States will be a strong partner in fighting efforts around the world that potentially seek to delegitimize Israel and will work tirelessly to support Israel's further integration into the international community. First of all, it's not just speech. Speech is one thing. A politician making a speech about it is one thing, but this is a company taking actions, actions that have legal consequences.

And when you have legal consequences and you operate in countries that have laws, there's legal consequences. So that's one thing that's trying to say this about speech, but that's not what boycott divestment sanctions. That's not about speech. It's not about speech. It's about delegitimizing Israel, which he says, but it's about delegitimizing Israel through actions, not just through words.

But then take a listen to his follow-up, Byte 8. You do not necessarily think that this decision by this one company unfairly – quote, unquote – unfairly singles out Israel? I'm just not going to weigh in on the objectives, the motivations of a private company.

I'll let the company speak for itself. Well, the company did speak for itself, and it says that Ben & Jerry's has the right to move their social justice policies forward. And that policy now includes saying that the franchisee of Ben & Jerry's cannot sell Ben & Jerry's into particular areas of Israel because the company, the parent company, has decided that this is occupied Palestinian territory. The U.N. hasn't decided that. The world courts haven't decided that. But they have decided this. He doesn't want to weigh in on the motivations of a private American company, but we're not asking him to determine what motivated Ben & Jerry to do this. It's their actions that we're asking the President and his administration to weigh in. Ned Price's response was a total deflection.

Of course. He gives hollow support for the anti-BDS movement, but there's no real teeth there. But the thing is, Andy, they can't make the determination. This is like saying, you know, we're going to let you sell Ben & Jerry's ice cream except in Texas because we don't think Texas is really part of the United States.

Well, that's exactly right, Jay. It's making a biggie in choosing who you think is legitimate and who you think is illegitimate. Well, areas that aren't legitimate. I mean, it's not even the place. It's like parts of the place.

Yeah. I mean, they're going to say you can sell it, you know, in West Jerusalem, but not in East Jerusalem. You can sell it in Tel Aviv, but you can't sell it in Judea and Samaria. I mean, why are you making these determinations based upon what authority? You're violating sovereign Israeli law, which prohibits that kind of discrimination.

Who are you to do that? How can you aid and abet the violation of the laws of the sovereign state of Israel, which says you don't discriminate against people in that fashion? You know, when we do our trips to Israel, we haven't done one in a long time, and when everything settles down globally, we're going to do that again.

But I would say we've taken thousands of people. I mean, there's a lot of ice cream in Israel. I mean, it's a desert. So this is not an insignificant business. This is a big business.

No, no, it's not. I mean, that's why the company doesn't want to say that we don't want to do business in all of Israel. Right. They want to be on the beach in Tel Aviv.

Oh, yeah. And in Haifa. They just don't want to be in Jerusalem, in East Jerusalem, and then in the West Bank for political purposes.

You know, they had, their board members spoke out, and I guess they've received a lot of specifics. So the head of their board of directors, which is how Unilever says that's who was really responsible, says she's proud of their move for taking a stance and the sale of ice cream in occupied Palestinian territory. She says it's not anti-Semitic. I am not anti-Semitic.

The vile hate thrown at me. And again, please work for peace, not hatred. They're not working for peace. These individuals, they constantly, they do not want to take the consequence of their actions.

Never. She is the head of a board that made an anti-Israel decision. Israel's interpreted that way.

We believe it's anti-Semitic. But they say, oh, I don't hate people because I help displaced people in other countries around the world. If you were condemning China and Vietnam and Zimbabwe and Myanmar, and by the way, we're willing to pull your business from those companies, then I think you don't deserve what you're getting.

But I think you deserve what you're getting right now because you're not. She doesn't really represent people who are facing genocide. She works for a company owned by an international conglomerate doing business with the government who is conducting genocide. You're right. That's not a human rights advocate.

That's someone who just cares about lining her pocket. You're right. Folks, we are not just talking about this issue, as you can tell. We've already had on our senior counsel Mike Pompeo discussing it. We're discussing it inside the organization, looking at the legal options. We'll have more on that in the days ahead.

But this is an attack on the Jewish state. Well, take your calls if you have questions about this at 1-800-684-3110. We come back from the break and you can get those in on our social media platforms as well. 800-684-3110. Don't forget to support our matching challenge campaign at ACLJ.org. Only when a society can agree that the most vulnerable and voiceless deserve to be protected is there any hope for that culture to survive. And that's exactly what you are saying when you stand with the American Center for Law and Justice to defend the right to life. We've created a free, powerful publication offering a panoramic view of the ACLJ's battle for the unborn.

It's called Mission Life. It will show you how you are personally impacting the pro-life battle through your support. And the publication includes a look at all major ACLJ pro-life cases. How we're fighting for the rights of pro-life activists. The ramifications of Roe v. Wade 40 years later. A play on parenthood's role in the abortion industry. And what Obamacare means to the pro-life movement. Discover the many ways your membership with the ACLJ is empowering the right to life.

Request your free copy of Mission Life today online at ACLJ.org slash gift. At the American Center for Law and Justice, we're engaged in critical issues at home and abroad. Whether it's defending religious freedom, protecting those who are persecuted for their faith. I'm covering corruption in the Washington bureaucracy and fighting to protect life in the courts and in Congress. The ACLJ would not be able to do any of this without your support.

For that, we are grateful. Now there's an opportunity for you to help in a unique way. For a limited time, you can participate in the ACLJ's Matching Challenge. For every dollar you donate, it will be matched. A $10 gift becomes $20.

A $50 gift becomes $100. This is a critical time for the ACLJ. The work we do simply would not occur without your generous support. Take part in our Matching Challenge today. Make a difference in the work we do, protecting the constitutional and religious freedoms that are most important to you and your family.

Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org. Welcome back to Sekulow. Again, I want to just explain where we are in this situation. We want to update you on this and get you prepared. We're looking at potentially taking action here and to kind of understand all these levels.

So you've got levels here. You have a Ben & Jerry's board, which was allowed to remain as an independent board when Unilever, which is a gigantic company, a multinational company. We talked about all the brands that they operate, all these countries they operate in. What's interesting is that this independent board, and the woman who chairs the independent board is Anerda Mattel. In her work outside of just being the chair of the board for Ben & Jerry's right now, she's the founder and executive director of an institute which advocates for indigenous people's rights. She is on the board of a company owned by an international conglomerate that is doing business in a country that is committing genocide against indigenous people, the Uighurs. She has nothing that I can see on her Twitter page about what's happening in China, of course.

She has some things in Africa about the Maasai and Kenya and kind of displacing people there. That's fine, but you took on this role at Ben & Jerry's to be a board of director. And social justice is your platform. But your company that you really work for is Unilever, and they're doing work in a country that's committing genocide against indigenous people.

The Uighurs were there throughout history. But this is the duplicity of the entire status. These are psychotic people. They don't understand that if you cannot be this, they hate Jewish people, okay? That's what it is. I'm going to just say what it is, and I can say it, okay?

That's who they hate, me, you. And they say, oh, it's not anti-Semitism, oh, it's not anti-Semitism. But then they label, Andy, parts of Israel as occupied territory. But it's not anti-Semitism. It's not against Jews as a people.

No, it's just we're going to make a determination of what is and what is not legitimate Israeli territory, and we're going to make that decision. Well, what about the fact that the Turks do not allow, outside of an orthodox church, to have a cross? Why don't you boycott the Turks? Why don't you not sell Ben & Jerry's ice cream in Istanbul? Because you are a hypocrite, and because what you're really doing is nothing else than anti-Semitic actions by singling out the state of Israel, making a decision of what portions of the country are legitimate sovereign territory of Israel, and which are not with no authority whatsoever to do that, and in contravention of Israeli internal law. It is anti-Semitic, it is anti-Jewish, and it needs to be called out for that, and Unilever needs to have repercussions, both Ben & Jerry's and its parent, Unilever, needs to suffer repercussions for this.

Let's call them out for who they are. Sellouts. Ben & Jerry's sold out to make millions of dollars. Yet they wanted to keep an independent board so they could make their column cap for the ice cream.

Yeah, who knows, if it was millions, it could be more. But they kept this independent board, but they sold out to a multinational corporation that does everything they wouldn't like, really. Right. On paper, they shouldn't like this company that they sold to, and they're supposed to be so committed to their causes.

Social justice. They're not anymore. Remember now, if you walk into or see a Ben & Jerry's, it's owned by the same company that three other ice cream brands that are on the rack at your grocery store. Breyers too, right? Yes. Breyers Ice Cream is owned by this Dutch-UK conglomerate. So are they selling Breyers in Israel? I'd like to find that out.

And who's making it. Yeah, right. So Harry, we go back to the corporate elite situation, because that's what we're dealing with here.

Absolutely. So I think corporate elites, they love to have it both ways, particularly when we're talking about profit maximization. So I think with respect to Unilever, they cannot have it both ways. They can't have their alleged anti-Semitism support and basically trumpet their support for human rights too. Unilever can either oppose anti-Semitism, as it should, or they can support barbarous human rights violations and racism in China, in Israel, and elsewhere.

But they, again, cannot do both. So Unilever, at the end of the day, needs to make a choice, or otherwise their duplicity and their moral superiority will show through in all of their brands, including Dove. So Breyers ice cream is sold in Israel.

Now, I'm assuming that it's probably sold in all of Israel, that would include Jerusalem. And so as Unilever is going to say, well, see, Breyers has no problem with it. I don't know if they have an independent board anymore, like a Ben & Jerry's, which is a much bigger brand, honestly, than Ben & Jerry's. But this idea, again, that they can pick and choose, I think we just have to call out these individuals too, these so-called social justice warriors, because they want to have their ice cream and eat it. You know, they are working for multinational corporations. They're not human rights advocates.

Right. And the hypocrisy is so, so evident. I mean, it really is hypocritical in its selective indignation. And here's the thing, they do understand one thing, Jordan, they understand the bottom line. And by the way, the reason they keep doing business in other countries that have these horrible human rights records is because there aren't very many Jews in those countries.

This is anti-Semitic. But here's the thing, if the American people and people around the world will actually bow up over this and take a stand and say, we will not buy Ben & Jerry's. I know it sounds trite and small, but if enough people will say, we will not do this, and we start boycotting Unilever products, the board comes around because the real bottom line is the financial bottom line for them.

And I think it's time for people to say enough. And if you want to do business, okay. But if you're trying to tell us what to believe and how to operate and how Israel does their internal affairs, we take a stand. Yes, because again, this company, Unilever, you know, Harry, you do a lot of the economics, and most of their decisions are economic-based. I mean, they don't really care what country they operate in the human rights record.

And that's kind of how they operate. They operate some of the human rights hotspots of the world. Places where we try to do work to try and prevent people from having religious liberty or the ability to organize a freedom of speech, they are there to sell things like ice cream and cleaning solution.

Absolutely. And so I think we need to engage in policy responses that affect adversely Unilever's bottom line. At the end of the day, why is Unilever allowing Ben and Jerry to engage in a social justice, quote, unquote, boycott of Israel?

Because it is part of Unilever's corporate branding. So in other words, they can increase their sales in certain markets by claiming moral purity in Israel, notwithstanding the fact that they are indeed violating the law, notwithstanding the fact that they are indeed engaging in anti-Semitism on stilts. Folks, this is not the end of this at the ACLJ. It's the beginning.

So we wanted to spend the whole show today really to prep you, to get you up to speed on who has been in Jerry's now. It's not just this company in Vermont. But they do have this board of directors, the independent board of directors, but they're really owned by a multinational. The multinationals, we just told you, they've got ice cream brands like Breyers being sold in Israel right now, assuming they're being sold in Jerusalem, that they're not making the distinction. So why is the multinational allowing a tiny company they own to get them in this kind of issue where then you could have all of their brands potentially thrown out?

Because they'd be, again, part of a violation of the law of Israel and the law of states in the United States as well. So we've got a lot more to talk about this. Follow us at ACLJ.org.

Remember our matching challenge too. It goes through the end of July. Double the impact to your donation at ACLJ.org. That's ACLJ.org. We'll talk to you tomorrow on Sekulow and more to come on this issue as we fight back against anti-Semitism and stand with Israel. MUSIC Give a gift today online at ACLJ.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-19 08:12:44 / 2023-09-19 08:36:05 / 23

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