A law practice in Tel Aviv has decided to challenge the Ben & Jerry’s decision to boycott Israel, head on.
The Shurat HaDin Law Center wants to sell the company’s iconic flavors plus a few new ones under a new name: ‘Judea and Samaria’s Finest Ben & Jerry’s’.
The law firm has filed an application to distribute the new frozen desserts in post-1967 neighborhoods and communities in Israel, including those in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, The New York Post reported Friday.
Shurat HaDin wrote that the Vermont-based global Ben & Jerry’s firm forfeited its trademark rights when it released a statement last week announcing it would end sales of its product in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
The law firm wrote in a July 23 letter to Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s parent company, that it has registered a trademark with Israel’s Justice Ministry for its new venture, ‘Judea and Samaria’s Ben & Jerry’s’. The firm also said it will operate ice cream parlors under the new brand, just as Ben & Jerry’s does now.
A ruling on the legality of the move could come in a matter of weeks, according to Shurat HaDin President and attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner.
If the application is approved, Shurat HaDin said it will sell Ben & Jerry’s flavor favorites like Cherry Garcia (no longer being consumed by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio) and Chunky Monkey but will also distribute new flavors such as “Frozen Chozen People.”
“We will now become the lawful owners of the Ben & Jerry’s name in Judea and Samaria,” the law firm said in its letter.
A mockup of the new brand has the cute black-and-white cow on the package standing in a field of green with a bright blue sky and white clouds – just like the original Ben & Jerry’s – but adds a black-and-white photo of Theodore Herzl as well.
Darshan-Leitner said the firm has already begun talks with ice cream manufacturers to produce the new product, adding in an interview with The New York Post that the idea is to force the ice cream maker’s parent company, global Unilever, to explain “why they do business in [other] occupied territories and don’t want to do business in Israel.” Examples of such territories are South Sudan and Crimea, she pointed out.
“This step we’ve taken forces their hand. I don’t think they thought this out very carefully,” she added.