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Update COVID-19 18 October 2020

18 October 2020 — Three (3) new COVID-19 cases were identified out of 1881 samples tested today. This brings the cumulative number of confirmed cases to four thousand, nine hundred, and seventy-four (4974). To date, four thousand, seven hundred, and eighty-three (4783) patients have recovered and been discharged, including fifteen (15) in the past 24…
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    Ben & Jerry’s founders say they’re ‘proud’ of company’s Israel boycott

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    A woman holds Ben & Jerry's ice cream at her home in Jerusalem on July 19, 2021.  (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90)

    A woman holds Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at her home in Jerusalem on July 19, 2021.

    (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90)

    Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, say that they are “supporters of the State of Israel,” but back the company’s decision to boycott Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

    In an opinion piece  in The New York Times on Wednesday, the two stressed that they are “proud Jews,” and that Israel was one of the company’s first overseas markets.

    “But it’s possible to support Israel and oppose some of its policies, just as we’ve opposed policies of the US government,” wrote the founders. “As such, we unequivocally support the decision of the company to end business in the occupied territories, which the international community, including the United Nations, has deemed an illegal occupation.”

    Cohen and Greenfield added that they no longer have any operational control of the company, but are “proud of its action and believe it is on the right side of history,” calling it “especially brave” and “one of the most important decisions the company has made in its 43-year history.”

    The two explained that not only is the decision neither a contradiction nor antisemitic in their eyes, but that it “can and should be seen as advancing the concepts of justice and human rights, core tenets of Judaism.”

    The Ben & Jerry’s founders pointed to past advocacy efforts of the company, saying that the decision to halt sales in the West Bank was similar.

    They stressed that the company drew a contrast between the State of Israel and the settlements in the West Bank, and that the decision to halt sales is not a boycott of Israel and was not an endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

    Despite the company’s statement making a distinction between the State of Israel and West Bank settlements, members of the company’s board of directors stated after the announcement that they had wanted to boycott Israel in its entirety, but were blocked from doing so by the ice-cream maker’s CEO and the British-based parent company, Unilever.

    Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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