Jerry Greenfield, a co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, told a reporter Sunday that he did not know what a boycott of Georgia or Texas over voting or abortion laws, respectively, would accomplish, despite the company launching a boycott of the West Bank in July.
“You guys are big proponents of voting rights. Why do you still sell ice cream in Georgia? Texas – abortion bans – why are you still selling there?,” Axios reporter Alexi McCammond asked during a segment of “Axios on HBO”.
“I don’t know. I mean … it’s an interesting question. I don’t know what that would accomplish. We’re working on those issues of voting rights, and I don’t know. I think you ask a really good question and I think I’d have to sit down and think about it for a bit,” Greenfield answered.
Ben & Jerry’s got accused of antisemitism for ending sales in the occupied Palestinian territories.@alexi: You’re both Jewish. How did it feel?
Ben: Totally fine … ’cause it’s absurd.
Jerry: I totally understand it. It’s a very painful issue for a lot of people. #AxiosOnHBO pic.twitter.com/iq6KICEkYH
— Axios (@axios) October 10, 2021
Ben & Jerry’s announced in July that the company would stop selling ice cream in the West Bank and the East Jerusalem area, which the company calls “Occupied Palestinian Territory”. Israel won those territories in 1967, and approximately 700,000 Israeli citizens live there.
Ben & Jerry’s will end sales of our ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Read our full statement: https://t.co/2mGWYGN4GA pic.twitter.com/kFeu7aXOf3
— Ben & Jerry’s (@benandjerrys) July 19, 2021
Greenfield told Axios that, while the company is working on voting rights issues, he has issues with many states and countries and boycotting Texas or Georgia would mean that the company “could not sell any ice cream anywhere.”
The ice cream company supports many progressive causes. Its website hosts numerous articles and petitions critical of new election security measures and supportive of reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act.
Ben & Jerry’s publicly supports the Black Lives Matter movement and released a social justice-themed flavor in support of Democratic Missouri Rep. Cori Bush’s Public Safety Act. The company also released a special flavor in honor of Colin Kaepernick in 2020.
Four states are taking action or considering divesting from Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Axios reports.