A Plurality of American Voters Support Ben & Jerry’s
Decision to Boycott Israeli Settlements
Washington, DC, September 1, 2021 — The decision by Ben & Jerry’s to stop selling ice cream in Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian lands is supported by a significant plurality of American voters.
The iconic Vermont-based ice cream company with an exemplary record of support for social justice issues has argued that it would be inconsistent with their company’s values for them to continue doing business in settlements that are in violation of international law.
Their decision has found favor, most especially, with Democrats and independent voters.
A recent poll commissioned by the Arab American Institute and conducted by John Zogby Strategies found support for the boycott effort.
According to the poll, 49% of Americans agree with the decision Ben & Jerry’s made to withdraw its product from Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Only 31% disagree with the company’s decision. Among Democrats, the margin was 65% to 18%.
By a margin of 43% to 26%, American voters said that it was legitimate for opponents of Israel’s settlement policies to call for boycotts or the imposition of sanctions to show displeasure with these policies. Among Democrats, the margin was 57% to 15%.
On July 19, 2021, Ben & Jerry’s announced that they would not renew its contract with their Israeli franchisee when the contract expires at the end of 2021 due to the product being sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The announcement caused a frenzy with scurrilous charges of antisemitism being hurled and Israeli leaders calling on U.S. states to sanction Ben & Jerry’s parent company Unilever.
The recent poll shows that contrary to suggestions that the company would suffer economically and in popularity due to their decision, a plurality of Americans, and a substantial majority of Democrats, support the action and consider boycotts to be a legitimate form of political protest.
“Ben & Jerry’s has long been known for its support for progressive causes and they have now taken the courageous step to extend their social justice activism to support for the Palestinian struggle for freedom and dignity,” said Arab American founder and president James Zogby. “Rather than the decision being seen as an extreme action in support of a fringe movement, the American people are welcoming it as a concrete step to hold Israel accountable and secure equal rights for Palestinians.”
The Arab American Institute is a national civil rights advocacy organization that provides strategic analysis to policy makers and community members to strengthen democracy, protect civil rights and liberties, and defend human rights. AAI organizes the 3.7 million Arab Americans across the country to ensure an informed, organized, and effective constituency is represented in all aspects of civic life.
For more information visit the Arab American Institute Foundation, 1600 K Street, NW, Suite 601
Washington, DC 20006, United States at www.AAIUSA.org
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