Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
Ben & Jerry's Out of
Israel's Illegal Settlements

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Boycott Ben & Jerry’s

Peace, love & occupation don’t mix.
That’s why we’ve called for a boycott of Ben & Jerry’s.
In violation of their social mission, their Israeli franchise sells ice cream in illegal, Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, transported on Jewish-only roads, on trucks with Jewish-only license plates, passing easily through military checkpoints that bedevil others.
            So much for their social mission.
Since 2013, thousands of individuals and nearly 250 organizations in 20 countries have called on Ben & Jerry’s to stop sales to Israeli illegal settlements and to publicly oppose Israel’s occupation and settlements.
           They have refused to do so

Ben & Jerry’s can’t call itself progressive and remain silent on Palestine.

Our appeals to Ben & Jerry’s socially responsible image had no effect.
Therefore, a boycott. Click here for a full explanation.
Here is how you or your organization can support this effort:

-> Publicly endorse the boycott and let us know that you did so. Send a pro-boycott e-mail to Jostein Solhem, Ben & Jerry’s CEO.
-> Tell local scoop shop owners, you are boycotting. Urge them to pressure Ben & Jerry’s about its complicity with Israel’s occupation.
-> Ask local supermarkets and food co-ops to remove Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from their shelves.
-> Have your organization endorse our organizational letter, and not have free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at its events.
-> Stay informed of campaign developments. Tell your friends through social media, and “like” us on Facebook. Link to the VTJP campaign on your website.

Slideshow of artwork

Video of Cantastoria

Click on the Image to watch
the "Licking Apartheid" video.

Slideshow of artwork
Video of Artwork with Artist's Naration
Art Hop 2015 in Burlington,VT.
This year the Art Hop – weekend of September 11-13, 2015 - included a powerful 'comic strip' installation with artwork by Michelle Sayles in collaboration with Jen Berger. A series of 8 panels tells one woman’s story of military occupation and oppression over 8 decades. The Ben & Jerry's 'free' ice cream truck was located across the street from the 'comic strip' art installation. Many people were visibly moved by the art installation and the story it tells.
Our action also included a performance of the Cantastoria about Ben & Jerry’s in Palestine for the people waiting in line for 'free' ice cream (performance by Mark Hage). Leaflets about the Ben & Jerry's in occupied Palestine were handed out to people viewing the art, and those waiting for 'free' ice cream cones. Many people were visibly moved by the art installation and the story it tells.

The South End Art Hop attracts over 30,000 visitors to artist’s studios and local businesses that become exhibition sites for the more than 500 participating artists.
Slideshow of artwork
Video of Artwork with Artist's Naration

Re-Directing Mis-Direction - Ben & Jerry's Tries to Defend the Indefensible
On April 10th 2015, just before this year’s 3rd annual Free Cone Day protests at Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops, the company posted this statement on its website. Here is the full text of our response.

As in previous statements, this one deliberately sidesteps Ben & Jerry’s responsibility for its Israeli franchise’s selling ice cream in illegal, Jewish-only settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, and does not even mention the settlements or the use of Jewish-only roads to transport the company’s products.

Ben & Jerry’s assures us it is "keenly aware of how complex the situation can be". The "situation" is not complex. This is a military occupation and a criminal enterprise of settler-colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing, now in its 49th year.

Members of the Company management and Board of Directors delegation who visited the region are not unobservant or unethical people. They are aware of international law and they know that Israel’s occupation will never be terminated, or substantially mitigated, by company-funded efforts at "cross-cultural understanding" or "sourcing from local Fair Trade farmers."

This latest statement is a clear case of "misdirection" It deflects attention from the company’s "values-based" social mission and from of what is really going on in Occupied Palestine. It also confirms our decision to organize a boycott of the company.
Center for Constitutional Rights defends criticism of Israel
Palestine Solidarity Legal Support and the Center for Constitutional Rights released findings (on May 18th, 2015) regarding the increasing use of accusations of anti-Semitism on U.S. college campuses to suppress speech critical of Israeli policy. 60 incidents were documented in the first 4 months of 2015 involving accusations of anti-Semitism made against students or faculty and 24 incidents involving accusations that students or faculty were “terrorists” or “supporters of terrorism,” based solely on speech critical of Israeli policy. This violates the free speech rights of students and scholars and undercuts the university as a place of debate and critical thinking, while also detracting from the fight against true anti-Semitism. The same day, Jewish Voice for Peace delivered a letter signed by over 250 academics to the U.S. State Department, asking it to revise its definition of anti-Semitism to prevent this charge being misused to silence critics of Israel.

Video of Cantastoria
Free Cone Day Actions - April 14th 2015
For the third consecutive year, volunteers engaged with people waiting in line at Ben & Jerry's "Free Cone Day " and handed out leaflets. Here's a report of actions at 18 scoop shop locations in 7 different States. Thousands of leaflets were distributed, and many people in line were surprised to learn about the occupation and our campaign and eager to find out more. This event is an ideal opportunity to let people know about the illegal occupation of Palestine and the oppression of Palestinians, and the illegal Jewish-only settlements where Ben & Jerry's ice cream is being sold, thus helping to 'normalize' the occupation.
And here is a link to the Cantastoria, performed for waiting Free Cone devotees at the 'Flagship' Scoop Shop in Burlington, VT.

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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel