Ben & Jerry's calls against arming Ukraine
Ben & Jerry's co-founder Ben Cohen says the US is spending money on prolonging the war rather than ending it in Ukraine, and the Public Relations Director doubled down on that position after pro-Ukraine war supporters called to boycott the ice cream giant.
Ben & Jerry's, the famed ice cream company, could face a boycott after co-founder Ben Cohen urged the US government to forgo weapons and monetary support for Ukraine.
Cohen has been the president of the People's Power Initiative, a group that has launched the Eisenhower Media Network (EMN). The network, according to Newsweek "provides journalists with access to military experts, some of whom believe the US is providing too much aid to Ukraine in its fight against Russia."
The network has been grounded in an anti-war approach and prides itself as an "independent resource for journalists," where "high-level veteran military and national security experts" who played their respective roles in previous wars share their expertise without sugarcoating, "because they are not employed by any part of the Military Industrial Congressional Complex."
20 years ago today, the U.S. launched their invasion of Iraq. Almost 2/3 of veterans who served in the #IraqWar say it was not worth fighting.— Eisenhower Media Network (@MediaEisenhower) March 20, 2023
Our expert senior fellows explain why. pic.twitter.com/qBZeA58XR8
While Ukraine war supporters have called Ben & Jerry's "fascist" and accused the founders of being "woke", Cohen insisted that "the US should use its power to negotiate an end to the war, not prolong the death and destruction by supplying more weapons."
After a Twitter campaign was initiated the call to boycott the company, Ben & Jerry's Public Relations Director Sean Greenwood, as cited by Newsweek, explained that while Cohen was acting in his personal capacity when he made his claim, and not as a representative of the company, it remained that the company equally opposes the war.
"Ben & Jerry's stands firmly against military action of any kind to alter national borders, which is why we remain opposed to Russia's invasion of Ukraine," Greenwood said.
It is worth noting that Ben & Jerry, as well as Cohen, have prided themselves on standing for justice. In a recent post, Cohen, on Twitter, called for the freedom of Julian Assange prior to the meeting between US President Joe Biden and the Australian Prime Minister which was held on March 13.
President Biden is meeting with the Prime Minister of Australia on Monday in San Deigo. Maybe they will talk about this 👇👇👇#FreeAssange pic.twitter.com/FOPrLdsfMk— Ben Cohen (@YoBenCohen) March 10, 2023
Moreover, last year, in order to prevent an independent Israeli distributor from distributing its ice cream in the occupied West Bank, Ben & Jerry's sued its parent company, Unilever, in July.
The ice cream giant said it would be inconsistent with its values to have its products sold in the occupied West Bank.
The company filed its complaint in the US district court in Manhattan, which said the sale announced on June 29 threatened to undermine the social integrity of the Ben & Jerry's brand. The Ben & Jerry's board fought to retain its independence and protect it upon Unilever's acquisition of the company in 2000.
The company then lost the case after a US Federal Judge ruled that Ben & Jerry's "failed to demonstrate" that selling its ice cream in the West Bank would cause it "irreparable harm."
The judge, Andrew Carter Jr, argued that the idea that Ben & Jerry's messaging could be spoiled or confused about the company's core values was "too speculative."
Read more: US to send $350mln military aid to Kiev, re-vows 'as long as it takes'