Ahead of US midterm elections, Vermont ice cream company Ben Jerry’s has announced its newest novelty flavor: Pecan Resist (a play, I think, on “we can resist”). The flavor is a tribute to various liberal activist groups that have led the opposition to the Trump administration. The drawing on the container features a trio of women of color holding a sign and protesting.
(The flavor, as described by Ben Jerry’s, is “chocolate ice cream with white dark fudge chunks, pecans, walnuts and fudge-covered almonds.”)
Proceeds from the flavor are going to a group of activist organizations, including Women’s March, which organized mass protests in cities worldwide on the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Some pro-Israel and Jewish leaders have criticized the group, as one of the co-chairs of Women’s March is Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American activist who supports the movement to boycott Israel and has made disparaging comments about Zionism. In addition, another co-chair, Tammika Mallory, is a vocal supporter of Louis Farrakhan, the virulently anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader.
Ben and Jerry’s posted a photo of a group of activists, including Sarsour, when announcing the flavor.
That didn’t sit well with some on social media. Yoav Aliasi, an Israeli rapper and right-wing activist, called on his followers to boycott Ben Jerry’s because of the decision. His post has garnered 2,800 reactions and more than 1,400 shares.
“Ben and Jerry’s, the American Jewish ice cream producers, decided to name their new ice cream after a ‘Palestinian’ terror supporter named Linda Sarsour, who has become a symbol of anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel (a darling of the media and the American left),” Aliasi wrote.
Some of the replies to the Ben Jerry’s tweet also expressed outrage at the choice.
Ben Jerry’s responded by thanking one critic for the feedback but standing by the decision.
“We may not agree on everything, but the work that Linda has done to promote women’s rights is undeniably important and we are proud to join her in that effort,” the tweet said.
This isn’t Ben Jerry’s first foray into politics via frozen deliciousness. In 2016, it created a flavor called “Empower Mint,” with peppermint and chunks of fudge. In 2015, the company’s founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, endorsed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for president.
The Israeli arm of Ben Jerry’s said it won’t be selling the flavor, and said it doesn’t get involved in U.S. politics.
“Ben Jerry’s Israel is is an independent and blue and white [Israeli] company,” Ben Jerry’s Israel said on its web site. ” We don’t have anything to do with the decisions of the international brand and we don’t interfere with local politics. It is important to mention that we do not intend to market [Pecan Resist] in Israel. We will continue to do and act for the community and for the company in Israel.”
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