The kosher authority that supervises the ice cream company vowed to “use its influence to make sure that [Ben & Jerry’s] anti-Israel policy never becomes implemented.”
By United With Israel Staff
KOF-K, the rabbinical authority that supervises Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, has faced calls to remove kosher certification from the Vermont-based company over its recently announced boycott of the Jewish state.
The Vermont-based ice cream producer initially wanted to boycott the entire State of Israel, but was blocked from doing so by its parent company, Unilever, a London-based conglomerate, and is now attempting to stop selling its products in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.
In Australia, the Sydney-based Kashrut Authority (KA) already removed Ben & Jerry’s from its list of approved products, a largely symbolic move because the KA doesn’t currently supervise the ice cream.
An increasing number of Jewish supermarkets in the U.S. and around the world have also removed Ben & Jerry’s from their shelves.
Meanwhile, independent Israeli Ben & Jerry’s franchise owner Avi Zinger reported a surge in sales of his Israeli-made product, as Israelis show solidarity with him for standing up to illegal demands from the Vermont headquarters.
A statement issued on Monday by KOF-K administrative director Rabbi Yehuda Rosenbaum said his organization opposes Ben & Jerry’s boycott, but alluded to “contractual obligations.”
Rosenbaum said that KOF-K “will us[e] its influence to make sure that [Ben & Jerry’s] 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,” he added.
According to the KOF-K, the organization corresponded with the Yesha Council, which is Israel’s umbrella organization representing the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, and the Israeli government “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,” said Rosenbaum.
“We encourage everyone to advocate on behalf of Israel,” the KOF-K statement continued. “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.”
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