June 13, 2024
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June 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Say Goodnight to ‘The Tonight Dough’

From Monday’s news it appears that Ben and Jerry have now drunk the “Self-Hating Juice”-flavored Kool-Aid and gone potty. I suppose they spent so much time with cows, they forgot to think like free men and women. I should take that back; cows are naturally hungry but one can’t accuse an animal of greediness. An industrial institution that has become more than a brand of ice cream with catchy names is now beholden to the almighty dollar. And, full disclosure, the two entrepreneurs sold their company to Unilever, a British conglomerate that kept the name. Since 2000, neither of the founders holds any board or management position. Nor are they involved in day-to-day management of the company, so this may be a case of unintended consequences.

Let’s face facts: There are a hell of a lot more Muslims than Israelis (and Jews) in the global marketplace, and the great majority of them do not wreak havoc through terrorist words and deeds. That doesn’t make the minority powerless. Think about airport security, and thank (or curse) Yassir Arafat and Company for creating the need to invade your privacy and time by making you take off your shoes and have your luggage and handbags scanned before you fly off for business or pleasure.

Airport security has become a business whose costs are reflected in the price of passenger tickets. It also makes flying for pleasure less pleasurable. The purpose, of course, is noble and necessary. It’s meant to ensure that travelers are not bringing explosive devices aboard that would make the terminal or airplane a death factory. I appreciate the necessity, but for most of us it’s time stolen from our brief but precious lives.

I don’t know how you feel about this latest assault, especially painful in that it comes on the heels of Tisha B’Av, from two Jews, albeit through the immensely successful corporation they founded and no longer manage.

I don’t know if Ben and Jerry knew about or fasted on Tisha B’Av. Nor do I know if they were aware that the ancient Egyptians worshipped cows, or that one of their Pharoahs sought to wipe out the Jews by arguably declaring the first genocide (as recorded in the Bible), demanding the drowning of all newborn males.

Tisha B’Av is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. Traditionally a fast day, Jews commemorate and mourn the destruction of the Temple and other major catastrophes that befell Jews and continue to have serious, often fatal effects. The rabbis partially attribute the destruction to internal dissent among Jews, even treachery. Whether they did it for personal gain, without regard for others, out of spite or for idealistic reasons, the effects were the same. And for all of humanity’s progress, humans haven’t changed all that much, and Jews are humans, despite what some antisemites say and actually believe.

Thanks to propaganda, many people all over the world think that Israel is a failed state that hasn’t lived up to its ideals. (Name me one state that has and does!) They apply double standards—standards that no other nation on earth is asked to follow—to the one democracy in the entire region. Never mind that Israel recognizes human rights and doesn’t murder homosexuals or women who they deem to have strayed. Even when fighting a defensive war, its military warns the enemy to evacuate targets they intend to bomb in order to avoid civilian casualties. Does that earn them brownie points? Not really, certainly not enough in the press and social media.

Extremists simply want Israel to disappear. Terrorists, and all its neighboring armies, have been working to achieve that goal ever since Israel came into existence as a sovereign state—after a majority UN vote. And don’t get me started on the hypocrisy that comes out of that “august” institution.

What can any of us do in the face of world opinion? I certainly don’t presume to have all the answers. Having studied and taught about the Holocaust for a good part, perhaps some of the best years, of my life, I do know about the power of one. And I do know what I can do.

I plan to avoid their Pistachio Pistachio ice cream, always my favorite. I love pistachio nuts, but I’d have to be nuts to buy it now. I may miss it but know it would leave a terrible taste in my mouth, a combination of regret, consternation and profound sorrow. I know that avoiding it will benefit my waistline, and more importantly, my conscience. So don’t try to tempt me. It will only make me even more determined to amp up my resistance to herd mentality.

Nor will I buy any of their other flavors, not even for my kids. I love them till death do us part, but will in no way contribute to the effort to visit death on Jews and their children in Israel or anywhere terrorists attack them. Nor will I contribute to efforts to destroy the only Jewish homeland.

That is essentially what the BDS movement is about. Portrayed as an effort to rouse the world’s conscience, it’s a well-funded battle on the economic front. For anyone who knows history, it’s a re-do of pre-war and Nazi-era boycotts of Jewish businesses. And we know how those boycotts evolved.

Think about it, and if you agree, and have enough willpower, put your money where your mouth is: BDS Ben and Jerry. Just remember, you don’t have to be a Chunky Monkey. Go Phish for other premium brands that are readily available and are just as, maybe even more, delicious. As for pistachio ice cream, chopped pistachios on very good vanilla ice cream, topped with a splash of Amaretto or a bit of almond extract sounds super yummy.


Barbara Wind is a writer, speaker and Holocaust related independent scholar, curator and consultant.

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