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Does Ben & Jerry’s Chairwoman Have a Conflict of Interest with Her Anti-Semitic Think Tank?

Isabel Vincent of the New York Post over the weekend chronicled the roots, rise and political activism of Ben & Jerry’s co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield.

The pair are renowned for donating their profits to progressive causes. They no longer control the ice cream company, which was bought by Unilever in 2000. However, Ben & Jerry’s does operate under its own corporate board independent of the parent corporation, which is led by anti-Semitic activist Anuradha Mittal.

Ben & Jerry’s has come under fierce criticism for the board’s recent decision to cease sales of its products in the “West Bank” and East Jerusalem areas of Israel, as part of the controversial Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in support of Palestinians. Unilever says it is not happy with the decision.

Vincent reports, however, that Cohen and Greenfield still maintain board seats on a foundation named for the ice cream company they co-founded. She reported some specifics about their BDS activities:

The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation has doled out more than $100,000 in the last two years to the Oakland Institute think tank, founded by Palestinian land rights activist Anuradha Mittal, who is also chair of the ice cream company’s board and vice president of the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation…

 

The Ben & Jerry’s grant was used to finance “a bold multimedia project on land rights to mark 50 years since the Six-Day War and Israel’s occupation,” according to the Oakland Institute’s 2017 annual report. “Palestine: For Land and Life” documented individual stories of “marginalization and struggle.”

 

“Across the West Bank, farmers lost their land, livelihoods, and even their ability to visit their families when the separation wall was constructed,” according to the report. “Under occupation, they also face massive water shortages as Israel diverts water from the Jordan River…to Israel and its settlements.”

Question: Did Mittal vote as a member of the board of the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation to give money to the Institute where she draws a salary as executive director?

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Tags: anti-Semitism, Anuradha Mittal, Ben and Jerry's, Israel, Oakland Institute, Unilever