An interview with the co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and “Axios on HBO” is being described as a “car crash” after the activists were completely stumped when confronted with their own hypocrisy.
In July, the company announced it would no longer sell its products in “Occupied Palestinian Territory” because “it is inconsistent with our values.”
The announcement was met with swift backlash at the state and international level. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield defended the decision, writing in The New York Times, “While we no longer have any operational control of the company we founded in 1978, we’re proud of its action and believe it is on the right side of history.”
In the statement announcing the decision about the OPT, Ben & Jerry’s made clear that its products will still be sold in Israel, but “through a different arrangement.”
Axios’s Alexi McCammond wanted to know why sell it in the country at all if they have such strong policy disagreements.
Cohen shrugged, and said he also disagreed with U.S. policy but “we couldn’t stop selling in the U.S.”
In a follow-up question, McCammond pressed Cohen about why, then, they didn’t stop selling the ice cream in certain states.
“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?” she wondered.
After several awkward seconds of silence, Cohen said he didn’t know.
“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 attempted a save but as social media users pointed out, it didn't work.
"One thing that's different is that what Israel is doing is considered illegal by international law. And so I think that's a consideration," Greenfield said.
Priceless from @axios— Emmanuel Navon ?????? ???? ???? (@emmanuelnavon) October 11, 2021
Ben Cohen makes such as fool of himself that Jerry Greenfield tries to look smarter by invoking "international law."
Nice try Jerry, but then why does @benandjerrys still sell ice cream in Crimea, Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, and Western Sahara? pic.twitter.com/gxxYIu4Ldg
Car-crash interview by ?@benandjerrys? founders showing why their Israel boycott is wrong-headed, unfair and yes - discriminatory. No wonder States and customers are dropping them. @unilever ought to act to reverse this - and quickly. pic.twitter.com/fCpJJfqtXa— Michael Dickson (@michaeldickson) October 11, 2021
Smart questioning by @alexi and her reaction to Ben’s non-answer is priceless.— Michael Dickson (@michaeldickson) October 11, 2021
Ben & Jerry’s founders: “No Ice Cream for the mean Jews in Israel.”— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 11, 2021
Axios: What about no ice cream for people in America you disagree with?
Ben & Jerry’s: …uh…
Axios: Georgia, Florida, Texas?
Ben & Jerry’s: … (nervous silence)