Two rockets were fired from Lebanon last night, leading to sirens across Northern Israel. The IDF confirmed one rocket was intercepted and the other landed in an open area.
Vermont-based ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s, founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, announced in a tweet yesterday that it will cease selling its products in West Bank settlements and seek to change its licensing agreement with a factory in Southern Israel.
In a statement, the company wrote, “We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” but added that the ice cream would still be sold in Israel.
According to an NBC News report, Ben & Jerry’s parent company Unilever, which acquired the ice cream company in 2000, added the sentence at the end of the statement saying that “Although Ben & Jerry’s will no longer be sold in the OPT, we will stay in Israel through a different arrangement.” Ben & Jerry’s board chair Anuradha Mittal told NBC that her board — which maintains discretion over company values and policy — wanted to release a statement that made no reference to continued sales in Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke to the head of Unilever on Tuesday, calling the move a “clearly anti-Israel step.” Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Gilad Erdan tweeted that he reached out to the governors of the 35 states that have recently enacted anti-BDS laws, calling on them to take action against the company.
This isn’t the first time ice cream and Jewish politics have overlapped. Häagen-Daz — now owned by General Mills — was founded in the Bronx by Ruben and Rose Mattus who, according to The Washington Post, were financial supporters at one point of Meir Kahane. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), profiled in Jewish Insider in 2019, was an early investor in Josh Hochschuler’s ice cream startup Talenti, which is now also owned by Unilever.
President Joe Biden met with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the White House yesterday. The White House would not say whether the two discussed Ahlam Tamimi, the Jordanian woman convicted for her role in the 2001 Sbarro suicide bombing in Jerusalem that killed two Americans, but a State Department spokesperson confirmed that she remains on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list. “The United States continues to seek her extradition and will continue to work to ensure she faces justice,” the spokesperson told Jewish Insider.
Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), a member of the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, told Jewish Insider she was “not that familiar” with some of Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) picks for the committee — announced yesterday — but said “my hope is that we can do a serious investigation… and leave partisanship at the door.”
Pressed on whether she expected some of the picks known for high-profile partisan clashes, like Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), to change their behavior on this committee, Luria quipped, “Is that a rhetorical question?”
She then said, “Myself and the other members that were appointed by the speaker… are taking this very seriously,” adding, “I can’t speak for any other members. Obviously they haven’t been finally approved yet.”
Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Menendez (D-NJ) told reporters that his committee will hold a public hearing with Biden administration officials about repealing the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force before scheduling a committee vote on the issue.
The committee held a classified hearing on the issue last week but said “some members of the committee would like… to have the opportunity to [ask] the question in public, get the administration on the record in public about some of their concerns,” regarding counterterrorism and other issues.