Hempstead officials call for boycott of Ben & Jerry’s over company’s dealings with Israel
Town of Hempstead officials are calling for a boycott of Ben & Jerry’s products for actions by the ice cream company they deem as being antisemitic.
Earlier this week, Ben & Jerry’s announced it will stop selling its ice cream in Israeli-occupied territories in Palestine, saying it’s not consistent with the company’s values to sell their products there.
Town of Hempstead government officials say they will be boycotting Ben & Jerry’s until a change is made in the company’s stance.
They also say they’re calling for a boycott of every product of Ben & Jerry’s parent company Unilever. These products include Dove soap, Hellman’s mayonnaise, and Lipton tea.
Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin says they’ve informed their commissioners, department heads and all their vendors that they can no longer have those products.
“They’re going to have to review their products and they’re going to have to get rid of them,” Clavin says.
He called the move from the ice cream company "a blatant anti-Israel action."
The town is enforcing legislation passed in 2016 which prohibits the town government from doing business with companies boycotting against the U.S., Israel, and other countries.
Leaders in Nassau County, the town of Oyster Bay and the town of North Hempstead all say they will do the same.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran issued a statement saying, “I am disappointed by Ben & Jerry’s decision to align itself with the anti-Israel BDS movement, which unfairly and dangerously singles out the world’s only Jewish State. I strongly oppose the BDS movement and have worked hard to strengthen the relationship between Israel and Nassau during my time as county executive. As a county legislator, I voted to prohibit the county from doing business with companies or individuals involved in the discriminatory BDS movement. This has been my long-standing position.”
Ben & Jerry’s issued a statement, saying they will be staying in Israel through a different arrangement. It’s not clear what that arrangement will be.
Ben and Jerry's spokespeople declined to comment on Hempstead Town officials boycotting its ice cream.
News 12 has reached out to Unilever for comment.