Disputed, Not Occupied Territories
To the editor:
Your article on Ben & Jerry’s included much valuable information. I applaud you for it. One point, however, must be reviewed. The term “Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)” was foisted on you by the anti-Semites who attack Israel. You used it without critical consideration, but whoever controls terminology controls thought.
Occupied territories are those captured in war from an established sovereign. The ancient Jewish lands of Judea and Samaria were part of the British Mandate for Palestine before 1948. Jordan then seized and held them until 1967, without international recognition of sovereignty. Jordan never called the land “Palestinian.” Indeed, no nation called Palestine has ever existed, much less owned these lands.
Israel entered the territories in the Six Day War to defend itself against aggression. Palestinians have repeatedly refused to reach a land accord because they will not accept a Jewish state in any form. Various parties continue to dispute the ownership of Judea and Samaria, so the correct language is “disputed territories,” not “occupied territories.”
—Stephen Rabinowitz, MD
For Us, a Good Taste
We believe it’s all political posturing to be against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Ben & Jerry’s will still be sold in Israel, except for the occupied Palestinian territory. This is not anti-Israel, but pro-pressure to change its occupation policies and conditions it imposes on the Palestinian people.
We support all Unilever products and will enjoy more Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, in good conscience.
—Elaine and Jim Peters
Supporting Ben & Jerry’s Boycott
I’m not a big fan of boycotts in general—I’m 75percent Irish (Dad was off the boat) and tried to give up tea in protest to the brutal treatment of the Irish by the British (basically Margaret Thatcher.) It didn’t do any good. A real change never happened until she left office. By that time, of course, I had gone back to drinking good English tea.
But, I don’t think the Jewish people have a cause here. I pay a lot of attention (being 25 percent Lebanese—the Catholic kind like Danny Thomas), so I’m not directly involved with the people you want to deprive of ice cream. They are the victims of the Jews and there’s a very long history of it. When there’s a right wing government all hell breaks loose, with the Arabs being the primary victims. But when there’s a left wing government in Israel things go smoothly. This is all documented in history; you should check it out.
The Arabs helped us win WWI and in return, they were given the land now in dispute.
Unfortunately, after they were given the land, Lord Balfour—whoever he is—in The Balfour Declaration, gave it again, but he gave it to the Jewish people. God knows after what they went through, they needed a country. But it didn’t need to be someone else’s country. They flooded into the disputed territory, as terrorists. The peace-loving Arabs were put out of their homes and off the property they were farming since the end of the last war. They were put out of the gardens that they were working successfully for a living. Since then, they have been basically corralled. Israel bombards them with rockets on a regular basis—when, like now there’s a right wing regime in power. During times the left is in power there is no fighting.
Recap: The Arabs are the victims and the Jews the aggressors during periods when the right wing is in charge. In other years, there’s no real problem. There may be a an increase in the problem in the future due to just how bad the Arabs are being treated. I still can’t believe that you don’t want them to have ice cream. I think that if you can’t figure out what is really going on, you should mind your own business. This is all documented information—you can verify everything I am saying.
And why wouldn’t you give credit to anything the Jewish founders of Ben and Jerry’s say? Do you think that they don’t know what they are doing? Do you think that they don’t know what is going on there? They are Jewish, and thankfully liberal instead of hard*** right wing Jews.