Two issues must be clarified regarding the suggestion which has been made since the Ben & Jerry fiasco began, that Kof-K, the company that supervises the kashrut of the ice cream boycotting Jews in the liberated territories, sever its ties with the anti-Zionist manufacturer and walk away. One issue is the fact that it is perfectly legitimate halachically for a kashrut supervisor to consider outside elements which are not directly related to the chemical composition of the food in question; and the other is that as soon as Kof-K, a pro-Israel outfit, withdraws its supervision, plenty of anti-Israel certification providers would line up to replace them.
With that in mind, here’s the press release issued by the Kof-K on Monday. It explains in very sympathetic language that it won’t be revoking its hechsher any time soon but remains concerned regarding the vicious aspects of targeting and boycotting a specific Jewish community in the Holy Land.
In short, this is a PR masterpiece. I want whoever composed it to write my eulogy after 120:
Although Ben and Jerry’s and its parent company Unilever announced that they will not be leaving Israel, the KOF-K is quite concerned about Ben & Jerry’s decision not to sell to Yehuda and Shomron as of January 1, 2023.
Unilever has committed that the company will adhere to their contract. The KOF-K has been in contact with the Israeli Government and the Yesha Council to determine the most effective way to respond.
Based on the advice of the Yesha council the KOF-K will continue to fulfill its contractual obligations to Ben & Jerry’s while using its influence to make sure that this anti-Israel policy never becomes implemented. The KOF-K has expressed to Unilever and Ben and Jerry’s CEOs the negative repercussions of this policy.
We encourage everyone to advocate on behalf of Israel. Please address your concerns about this policy directly to Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s. This is a highly volatile situation and the KOF-K remains in contact with the Israeli Government and the Yesha Council as the most prudent way to make sure the policy never becomes implemented.
KOF-K Kosher Supervision
Rabbi Yehuda Rosenbaum
In other words, as Mordechai told Esther back in Shushan in the early 5th century BCE (Esther 4:14):
“If you keep silent in this crisis, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another source, while you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows, perhaps you have attained to royal position for just such a crisis.”
So the only way to win this one is by extending the consumer boycott against Ben & Jerry’s, fighting fire with fire (over ice). As the company begins to feel the pain of losing its share of the market, it might see the light. Also, you really shouldn’t eat this stuff, it will kill you—in more ways than one.