Local New York officials say their towns will boycott Ben & Jerry’s after the ice cream company announced it would end sales in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Town officials from Hempstead and North Hempstead are urging the removal Ben & Jerry's products from store shelves and looking to apply anti-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) legislation the towns passed in 2017. Hempstead town supervisor Don Clavin (R.) said the company will be held "accountable" and can expect to see its products "in the garbage."
"They’re gone. Don't go buy Ben & Jerry's," Clavin said. "Buy ice cream that is a friend of Israel—Häagen Dazs it is. Every contract’s going to be reviewed, and we’re going to hold them accountable for their support of this anti-Israeli action."
North Hempstead town supervisor Judi Bosworth (D.) said her town will apply a measure prohibiting them from working with companies that support the BDS movement. Nassau County executive Laura Curran (D.) also slammed the ice cream company, saying she was "disappointed" by its alignment with anti-Israel activists.
The local pushback against Ben & Jerry’s comes as the company stumbles to find its footing after anti-Israel comments in July. State lawmakers are considering divesting from Ben & Jerry’s parent company. The Washington Free Beacon also reported the ice cream company’s board chairwoman has a history of drafting op-eds defending Hezbollah and supporting U.S. funding to Hamas.
North Hempstead and Hempstead are home to vulnerable Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections. Reps. Kathleen Rice (D., N.Y.), Tom Suozzi (D., N.Y.), and House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Gregory Meeks (D., N.Y.) did not return requests for comments regarding their support for the bipartisan stance against Ben & Jerry’s.