Ben & Jerry’s survey results
search
OpinionOur readers share their views

Ben & Jerry’s survey results

We asked our readers how they felt about the ice cream maker's decision to halt sales in what the company calls the "Occupied Palestinian Territory." Here's what they said.

Ben Greenfield and Jerry Cohen, founders of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream in 2010 (Dismas, CC BY-SA 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)
Ben Greenfield and Jerry Cohen, founders of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream in 2010 (Dismas, CC BY-SA 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Last week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic survey how they felt about Ben & Jerry’s recent announcement that it would halt sales of its products in what the company referred to as the “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

Readers were given a choice of five responses: “I like it but I think they should go further”; “I like it”; “I don’t like it, but it won’t change what I buy”; “I don’t like it, and I won’t buy Ben & Jerry’s”; and “I don’t know.”

Of the 271 people who responded to the survey, a large majority (67%, or 178 people) responded “I don’t like it, and I won’t buy Ben & Jerry’s,” and another 9% (24 people) responded “I don’t like it, but it won’t change what I buy.”

Only 54 people (20%) said they either like Ben & Jerry’s decision or like it “but think they should go further.” Eleven people (4%) responded “I don’t know.”

One hundred people submitted additional written responses to the question. Here is a sample of what they wrote:

“Once again Israel is picked out of all the groups of peoples of this world to be demonized.”

“They are expressing their political views. This is not an Israel ‘boycott.’ It is ONLY about the occupied West Bank. One cannot say they are boycotting Israel since they are open for business in Israel.”

“There are far superior ice creams. If they back away, I’ll buy BJ to acknowledge they have acknowledged their mistake. But, their star is far dimmer and distant!”

“The situation involving Ben & Jerry’s and their corporate parent, Unilever, is more nuanced than headlines would suggest. Neither entity supports BDS. Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever will still create and sell products in Israel, supporting many. I think that there’s a lot about this decision that we still don’t know.”

“MAY THEY MELT IN HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“I completely oppose the BDS movement. However, B&J’s took a stand on a specific issue rather than condemn an entire country. I can respect that.”

“No Unilever products as well. There should be an organized boycott of all Unilever products.”

“More proof of the success of the Palestinian Authority’s extraordinary ability to use the money given it by Western countries and the EU to buy world opinion that they are the Earth’s most downtrodden people.”

“More than worrying about ice cream, it would be good if everyone who supports Israel would be more aware of life for the Palestinians in the West Bank. The Jewish people can do better.”

“I want to know when Ben & Jerry’s ice cream will stop being sold in China, which is tormenting Muslims.” PJC

Toby Tabachnick

read more:
comments