Help Us Help the Disinformed Dozen

The state of education in America is alarming. At least in some states it is.

Did you know that there are 12 Attorneys General, the highest law enforcement officers in their states, 10 men and 2 women with college degrees and law degrees, whose basic understanding of geography is so lacking that they can’t even tell the difference between the State of Israel and the Occupied Territories?

In mid-November, the Attorneys General of 12 states – Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia – wrote a letter to Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever, expressing their grave, yet sadly uneducated, concern over its decision to engage in a boycott of “the State of Israel.”

Now as anyone with a map (or Google) could tell you, Ben & Jerry’s is not boycotting “the State of Israel.” These unfortunate Attorneys General, the Disinformed Dozen, are talking about Ben & Jerry’s decision to cease selling their product in the Occupied Territories. When they announced this decision, Ben & Jerry’s (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever but with an independent Board of Directors empowered to protect the company’s brand equity and integrity) was clear that this was not a boycott of Israel but a protest of 54 years of occupation. 


The map that the Disinformed Dozen apparently don't have access to: 


But the Disinformed Dozen chose not to believe Ben & Jerry’s or Unilever and have announced  on behalf of all 12 participating states that “any attempt to boycott the State of Israel will be met with financial divestment of state resources from the offending corporation."

In other words, they have created a little reverse BDS framework of their own and are now divesting from Unilever.

So it’s a good thing that APN is here to set the record straight and help educate these unfortunate AGs who can’t tell the difference between Ramla and Ramallah. I guess that’s what happens when your state’s elected leaders deprioritize education.  

First, Ben & Jerry’s is empowered to make its own policy decisions around its sales and operations. Unilever does not control Ben & Jerry’s policy decisions. 

Second, Ben & Jerry’s is ceasing sales of its ice cream in the Occupied Territories. You will still be able to walk into a grocery store anywhere within the Green Line and buy a pint of Phish Food. Ben & Jerry’s is not boycotting Israel, it’s boycotting occupation.

Ben & Jerry’s is doing exactly what supporters of peace should be doing: differentiating between Israel and the Occupied Territories.

Now we need to help educate the Disinformed Dozen so that they can learn the difference between Hebron and Haifa. Make a gift today to APN so that we can help the Attorneys General get the education that they so desperately need. 



Hadar Susskind

President and CEO, Americans for Peace Now