Israel, Ice Cream, Trademarks: This Year's Dumbest Controversy Results In Trademark Skullduggery

from the you-scream dept

Welcome to this year’s dumbest controversy thus far. A couple of weeks ago, famed ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s announced that it would no longer be selling its products in “occupied Palestinian territory.” Indicating that doing so would not align with the company’s values, the idea here was that settlements that infringed on territory that was deemed to belong to the Palestinians by international law would be off the company’s radar. Not all of Israel, mind you. Just the occupied territories. And that is when everyone lost their god damned minds. Ron DeSantis is seeking to have Florida put B&J and its parent company, Unilever, on a list of companies that should be scrutinized for “boycotting Israel”. Jewish leaders indicated that the kosher rating of the ice cream could be altered for the same reason. Except that isn’t what B&J are doing. It isn’t boycotting Israel at all. It’s simply refusing to sell its product in small sections of land that Israel currently occupies.

And where this gets into Techdirt territory is that one law firm in Israel is going to so far as to try to screw with Ben & Jerry’s trademark rights, arguing now that it can use the B&J trademarks in those territories because the company isn’t selling products there any longer.

Ben & Jerry’s is on its way to losing ownership of its brand in the settlements. The law association Shurat HaDin has submitted a request to the Registrar of Companies to register a company called “Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream of Judea and Samaria.” This would be in keeping with US law under which a company loses the right to trademark protection in areas in which it has stopped selling its product.

The law firm informed food giant Unilever that since it had given up selling Ben & Jerry’s ice creams in the “West Bank,” under US law, it had lost the right to protect the Ben & Jerry’s trademark in those areas. Shurat HaDin has already submitted an application to the Israeli Registrar of Companies to register the new brand “Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream of Judea and Samaria,” which will receive legal protection to sell the exact same ice cream, with the same trade name, and actually compete with the original company.

It should be obvious that this is absolutely not what trademark law is for. What is happening here is some combination of extortion and punishment simply because a private company has taken a very small stance on an international issue. This is typical of the maximal response that tends to be trotted out when Israel encounters these types of scenarios. I’ve heard this described by foreign policy experts as a form of “diplomatic deterrence”, where a minor issue generates a response that’s dialed to eleven simply to deter any like-minded companies or actors from taking the same actions.

But that, again, is not what trademark law is designed to do. It’s designed to keep the public from being confused as to what they’re buying. And it’s hard to imagine a more perfect scenario for creating public confusion than a fraction of territory being sold B&J branded ice cream that isn’t legit while the rest of the country gets the legit stuff. And the idea that US law is being used to do all of this makes this all the more infuriating.

Shurat HaDin examined and found that under US law, in order to preserve the protection of a trademarked brand against use by other parties, there must be full intention to conduct business in a particular area. That is, in cases where a commercial brand is intended only to prevent another party from using the same label, without having any intention of operating in the same area, its request will not be approved. Therefore, once that person announces that he does not intend to operate in the same area, it means that he has no intention of using his trademark and his right to trademark will no longer stand.

It’s not that simple, obviously. And hopefully the Trademark Office and any courts that might get involved will see this for the skullduggery that it absolutely is. Whatever stances you might want to take on political issues related to this, this simply isn’t what trademark laws are for.

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Companies: ben and jerry's, unilever

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Comments on “Israel, Ice Cream, Trademarks: This Year's Dumbest Controversy Results In Trademark Skullduggery”

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That One Guysays:

And that is when everyone lost their god damned minds. Ron DeSantis is seeking to have Florida put B&J and its parent company, Unilever, on a list of companies that should be scrutinized for "boycotting Israel". Jewish leaders indicated that the kosher rating of the ice cream could be altered for the same reason.

Bloody hell talk about jumping at the opportunity to faceplant. A state governor arguing that boycotts should be punishable and jewish leaders making an absolute mockery of the kosher label by turning it into something to pull(and one would assume grant) not because of what’s in a food or how it’s prepared but the actions of the one selling it.

As for the trademark angle ‘I see your objection to local policy and raise you gross abuse of the trademark system’ is not the greatest look and hopefully the respective trademark offices see this stunt for what it is and give it the swift boot out the door it deserves.

Paul Bsays:

Re: Re:

I am more shocked that they think that the decision to not sell in a very small geographic area is enough to let someone else sell a products under the same mark. This would be like Coke saying it won’t sell in Russia Occupied Ukraine would allow someone else to sell under the coke trademark.

Many many businesses should be filing friend of the court to tell them this is a really dumb idea.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"This would be like Coke saying it won’t sell in Russia Occupied Ukraine would allow someone else to sell under the coke trademark."

Shurat HaDin has a…history. Threatening to sue providers of humanitarian aid if said aid was going to palestinian civilians. Suing rock bands and activists over canceled Tel Aviv shows.

They claim to be the Israel version of the ACLU but seem to have a massive blind spot if the human rights infringed upon happen to be those of an arab. That rather loses them the moral high ground and defending the rights of only one side doesn’t make you a humanitarian – it makes you a nationalist.

It’s far more worrying that the Israeli government is on the same track. The common jew in the streets of Israel debates the topics of the settlements all the time but when the outside world brings up the various issues resulting from the occupation it’s suddenly antisemitism.

The problem is really that Israel doesn’t have a moral leg to stand on concerning the occupied territories. They don’t want to leave the place to be governed by the inhabitants and they don’t want to make it part of Israel because of…both practical and racist reasons. That means they’re stuck with treating palestina as a permanently hostile territory, which certainly doesn’t help with integration or dismantling the aggression.

Israeli nationalism has become a far greater threat to Israel than outside forces by now.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re:

"Bloody hell talk about jumping at the opportunity to faceplant."

Me, I’m just counting the levels of fail everyone involved is demonstrating;

  • B&J not selling in palestinian territory over Israel being a long-term meanie isn’t penalizing Israel – it’s penalizing every palestinian out for ice cream. So B&J hit the wrong target. Scored an own goal.
  • Florida man…err, Desantis…is, true to form, claiming a US company did something they obviously didn’t do, just to score points with his base. As usual republican politicians lie through their teeth to further their agenda of negative partisanship.
  • Israel’s leadership, all on board with the political agenda, decide to change a classification of religious requirements of preparation as if the company’s political stance magically changed their formula. And demonstrated the usual thin-skinned fortress mentality we are lamentably used to seeing from Israel’s body politic.
  • Shurat HaDin has a long record of punishing, through legal means, anyone who seeks to criticize israel over the palestinian situation – or worse, those trying to send humanitarian aid to that place. Although they’ve done some good it’s pretty clear this NGO legal center, under the guise of a civil rights organization, isn’t really interested in civil rights of those living in Gaza.

Worst by far is, I think, the Israeli response. There’s certainly a case to be made that the Israeli founders bought their land fair and square and defended it against all comers, but what they have done to the occupied territories, the settlement issues, and their current strategy of whipping out the "anti-semite" card whenever any criticism is uttered around their politics or consumer activism is dangerous – mainly dangerous to Israel which desperately needs to retain the moral high ground they’ve been losing at such a breakneck pace lately.

If Israel is ever broken it won’t be due to exterior enemies. It will be because they invited the likes of Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman to their body politic…

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

B&J not selling in palestinian territory over Israel being a long-term meanie isn’t penalizing Israel – it’s penalizing every palestinian out for ice cream.

B&J isn’t refusing to sell in Palestenian territory, they are refusing to sell in "occupied palestenian territory." The first refers to an area encompassing most of the West Bank and Gaza strip. The second refers to small portions of that area in which Israel has ejected most of the local Palestenians and replaced them with Israeli citizens, claiming it for themselves in (supposed) violation of existing Israel/Palestine agreements.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

"The second refers to small portions of that area in which Israel has ejected most of the local Palestenians and replaced them with Israeli citizens, claiming it for themselves in (supposed) violation of existing Israel/Palestine agreements."

Devil in the details. Missed that part. Mea Culpa.

Then we’re just left debating whether Israel as a nation has really become so thin-skinned a company’s refusal to sell their goods to the invaders of an occupied war zone is considered anti-semitism these days.

And with a heavy heart I must conclude that yes. Yes, they are.
Meanwhile even Israel newspapers keep publishing facts which would render comparisons to old South Africa quite valid.

Stephen T. Stonesays:

Ron DeSantis is seeking to have Florida put B&J and its parent company, Unilever, on a list of companies that should be scrutinized for "boycotting Israel".

He can?t stop them from boycotting the occupied territories; that would overstep I don?t know how many First Amendment boundaries. He can?t stop them from selling their ice cream in the States; that would overstep every bit of the conservative ?free market? dogma. He can?t really do anything to them, so other than providing proverbial red meat for his dying-of-COVID base, what the fuck is the endgame here?

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re:

"He can?t really do anything to them, so other than providing proverbial red meat for his dying-of-COVID base, what the fuck is the endgame here?"

There is no other agenda. Providing red meat for his base is all of his agenda. Anything else to come out of anything he says will be purely incidental.

Oblatesays:

This is actually a few scoops deeper...

The trademark dispute and the kosher certification are B.S. distractions from the bigger parts of this story. Ben and Jerry’s is ‘divesting’ from operations in parts of Israel, in line with the goals of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which is often criticized as being anti-semitic and for having links to terrorist groups. There’s plenty of information online to support these criticisms. Where it’s relevant to Florida, and several (33) other states, is that they have laws in place that force them to divest from companies that boycott Israel. That is what is meant by "list of companies that should be scrutinized". The state laws would generally require them to not do business with companies on that list, and to not invest state funds, including their sizable pension funds, in those companies.
But enough background- I suspect that the trademark dispute will never be an issue as they’re continuing to sell in all of Israel through the end of 2022, and it’s likely that this will be resolved by then.

Stephen T. Stonesays:

Re:

they have laws in place that force them to divest from companies that boycott Israel

Since a boycott is a form of political speech and a decision on the choice of association, wouldn?t such laws be wholly unconstitutional?

Say what you will about the BDS movement and all. But unless there?s a proven and direct link between a company taking part in BDS and any actual illegal activity (instead of criticism of and disassociation from the Israeli government), no part of the U.S. government at any level should be stepping in to say ?you can either get on board with Israel or you can be legally fucked up the ass?.

Oblatesays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I mentioned those laws as they are relevant to the above story but were not mentioned in the discussion. If you want more information on their history, discussion pro or con, etc. there’s multitudes of places online to find that information.
But to your question- it can not be answered as it contains a false premise. There are not state laws punishing companies for criticizing Israeli policies. As was clearly stated, the laws being discussed relate to a boycott. The companies can criticize all they want without legal repercussion. Additionally the specious comparison of Israel to Apartheid-era South Africa makes the question unanswerable. This false comparison is a perfect example of how a lie repeated often enough will be believed by some (search Big Lie for other examples). To be clear there’s plenty of issues in Israel, but name-calling and smearing via this comparison does nothing to advance the issue.

MathFoxsays:

Re: Re: Re:4

I do think that Oblate very much understands the core of my (rhetorical) question, but has reasons to detract from the answer. While I give no opinion whether South Africa’s treatment of black people was worse than Israel’s treatment of people from the occupied territories or not, there was a substantial international consensus that apartheid is wrong, much like the current consensus (at least outside the US) that Israel should improve treatment of people from the "occupied territories".

I do think that anyone who is a little bit serious about following US politics could give the answer to my question; substituting "criticising" with "boycotting" twice, if that makes the answer more obvious to them.

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

To an extent however when it comes to government consequences the limits and possible responses are a lot more strict as they have to follow the first amendment and I’d say boycotting would fall squarely into protected speech area which makes the government stepping in and issuing a ‘if you engage in a boycott we don’t like we will punish you’ ultimatum a pretty blatant first amendment violation.

Stephen T. Stonesays:

Re: Re: Re:

Companies are not prohibited from boycotting anything, they can boycott all they want. But as a consequence of that decision, others have the right to boycott/divest them.

So long as they?re private entities making the decision of their own free will? Cool beans. Local Florida businesses could stop working with Ben & Jerry?s over its decision and I?d have no issue with that. But if DeSantis or any other government official forces all local businesses to stop working with B&J over this, that?s where I call bullshit. Not only would such a move infringe upon the free association rights of those businesses (and B&J), it would mark a dangerous turn down a road where any American criticizing the Israeli government could face some form of sanctions.

Yes, speech has consequences. But are those consequences worth letting Florida Men piss all over the First Amendment?

Lostinlodossays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Unless I?m missing something:

This doesn?t have any effect on Florida businesses.
It only specifically forces the hand for state.

https://www.sbafla.com/fsb/Portals/FSB/Content/GlobalGovernanceMandates/QuarterlyReports/2020/2020_12_15_%20Israel%20scrutinized%20companies%20list%20for%20web.pdf

As governor he can decide such situations as to how the state handles its own business.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re:

"This state will not engage in business dealings with any corporation or individual that makes public statements supporting the aims and principles of the (Democratic/Republican/Communist [delete as applicable] party"

Nice and clear stement of where the state wil spend money. Lawful – not so much (probably – IANAL)

Lostinlodossays:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Neither am I.
But fundamentally a state is a company.
This wouldn?t be much different than a list of mandated preference, such as a list preferring Palestinian companies. Or a list boycotting Jewish companies.
The state, beholden to its voters, has the right to choose its expenditures. Just like any other public company.

naschsays:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

But fundamentally a state is a company.

No, fundamentally the state is a government which must not violate the first amendment.

"The American Civil Liberties Union has challenged the constitutionality of several states? laws as violations of freedom of expression. In Texas, it represents two university students who want to judge high school tournaments, a freelance writer and a reporter. These individuals were required to sign a certification that they are not engaged in boycotts of Israel or settlements or forgo opportunities and lose income.

US federal courts issued preliminary injunctions blocking the enforcement of anti-boycott laws in Kansas and Arizona following similar suits, leading legislators in both states to scale back their laws. An Arkansas federal court dismissed an analogous challenge to its similar law, which has been appealed. The Texas case remains pending."

This hasn’t been settled, but there’s a clear first amendment case here.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/04/23/us-states-use-anti-boycott-laws-punish-responsible-businesses#

naschsays:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

The state, beholden to its voters, has the right to choose its expenditures.

I thought of something – what would you think if a state passed a law that said it would not do business with any company that publicly criticized the governor of that state in any way. Would you see a first amendment issue there?

Lostinlodossays:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

No.
The state, via the congress, via the electorate, must make decisions on who to purchase from. And who not to.
And if they feel a company is not a good reputation to be be associated with, that?s within the state?s right to decide.
A legal listing of do?s or don?ts doesn?t change anything.

Lostinlodossays:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

That?s not suppressing speech. It?s a simple buying decision.
And that?s where this becomes a difficult question.
There?s no ban on saying. The ban is on the state spending state funds on said company.
As the president of the board for the state: the Governor has the ability to say we won?t spend state funds with these people.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

As I said above (1st reply to lostoinlindos), IANAL, but is there a difference (in law) between the state writing a statute that says "No business with …" and a state’s contract with its suppliers that says the same thing? Oh look – angels on a pinhead.

Lostinlodossays:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I think what it comes down to is if a state (as a governing body) has the right (as an incorporation) to free speech based on the majority vote of the people (state congress). Even if that speech is is state sponsored.
It?s a question for a court.

The ultimate question is does the federal constitutional right of free speech and ban of governmental censorship, disallow a state, as a representation of a popular voting group, from its own right to protest based upon the population?

I don?t know. IANAL.
Personally, understanding the legal construct breakdown of property law:
USA creates ?States? which are legally considered incorporated businesses. States create Counties, parish, etc. Those create towns/cities. Which can create village blocks/communities, which can create subdivisions/complexes.
At every level an incorporation is created.

This is why the term ?unincorporated x county? exists. Meaning it is land belonging to the county that has not been sold to a controlling body, such as a Town.
From that viewpoint we have a difficult question on the block her.
If the US government has the right to boycott (eg Cuba) should not the states?
This very question was one of many issues that lead to the civil war. Luckily today were generally more civil than going to war and just legislate.

naschsays:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

The ultimate question is does the federal constitutional right of free speech and ban of governmental censorship, disallow a state, as a representation of a popular voting group, from its own right to protest based upon the population?

No, the question is whether it disallows the state from punishing private actors for acts of protest. I would have thought the answer is obvious but I guess not.

USA creates ?States? which are legally considered incorporated businesses.

Citation for this?

This is why the term ?unincorporated x county? exists.

That is a different meaning of the term. It means the land has not been incorporated, or made part of, a city/town/etc. It does not mean it isn’t a corporation.

If the US government has the right to boycott (eg Cuba) should not the states?

As far as I know a state has the right to not do business with another country. Other countries are not protected by the US Constitution. As far as I know a state does not have the right to not do business with a private entity because of that entity’s constitutionally protected activities or status. For example, a state cannot choose not to do business with a company because it is owned by a black person, or a woman.

This very question was one of many issues that lead to the civil war.

What led to the civil war was the southern states wanted to continue owning people, and the northern states decided that was no longer ok.

Lostinlodossays:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

? No, the question is whether it disallows the state from punishing private actors for acts of protest.?
How is not shopping at a particular company because you don?t agree with their speech any less protected because the buyer is a large organs like a state or county board or township or even a community association decision on what beverage company is chosen for the employee vending machines?

? It means the land has not been incorporated, or made part of, a city/town/etc. It does not mean it isn’t a corporation.?
That?s exactly what I said. It still belongs to the county.

? What led to the civil war ?
Was many issues. One, a major one, was slavery. But it was not the only one. And the fools who ignore the other issues are bound to repeat them. As they so often do.

naschsays:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

How is not shopping at a particular company because you don?t agree with their speech any less protected because the buyer is a large organs like a state or county board or township or even a community association decision on what beverage company is chosen for the employee vending machines?

It is either a state actor or not. If it is, it must not use its power to suppress speech. If it is not, there is no such restriction. That’s what the first amendment means.

That?s exactly what I said. It still belongs to the county.

Yes, which has nothing to do with corporations. By the way, I asked for a citation for your claim that states are corporations. Did you forget, or were you hoping I would?

But it was not the only one.

Without slavery, there is no civil war. It is the reason the south seceded, and the reason the north fought. Would there have been some minor conflicts over other issues, sure. But not a war.

Lostinlodossays:

Re: Re: Re:13 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

?By the way, I asked for a citation for your claim that states are corporations ?
I use the term loosely. In that the state itself has an EID and pays federal taxes, and collects federal subsidies? etc.

?it must not use its power to suppress speech.?
I?m failing to understand how a purchasing decision is suppression.
Are you saying a state must purchase from a company because you said so?

? Without slavery, there is no civil war.?
If you fail to understand the impact of the tariff of abominations there?s nothing I can do besides say go study pre 1945 America history.
The entire threat of division started with that.

Slavery happened to unite the southern states but the rift was started before then.

naschsays:

Re: Re: Re:14 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

I?m failing to understand how a purchasing decision is suppression.

Because it’s retaliation for speech. How is this difficult? Like I can punch you in the face for punching me in the face, but I can’t punch you in the face because I don’t like your face. A government can stop doing business with a company because the company isn’t doing a good job (for example) but not because the government doesn’t like things the company is saying.

If you fail to understand the impact of the tariff of abominations there?s nothing I can do besides say go study pre 1945 America history.

"The tariff was replaced in 1833 and the crisis ended."

Tell me again how that caused the war in 1861.

Lostinlodossays:

Re: Re: Re:15 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

?and the crisis ended?
No, it placated the biggest concerns. It did not ?end? anything.
The battle between the right?s at a state level (sovereignty within union) vs rights of the union whole.
Slavery was one of them. It happened to be the one thing most southern states held in common.

But you forgot there were union slave states. That had no interest in leaving the union. DC was surround by slave land that generally remained loyal.
The fact that slave holding States remained with the Union should be enough for you to at least recognise there was more than slavery driving the conflict.

I?m not trying to downplay the fact. Quite the contrary. But with 11 states and one territory, all with different interests, it would have been a very different war without slavery.
But there were other issues as well. Ignoring them causes those issues to come up again and again.

This is a prime example of one of those other issues
Does Florida not have the right to not be associated with a political decision of a private company regarding a foreign state, if the presiding government wants not to associate with that idea?

Lostinlodossays:

Re: Re: Re:17 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

On the civil war? If you look through the article?s history you?ll find my edits from 2013 that got a star for it. One of three. The others being the Sega Saturn and the Electoral College.

It was moved to another article since then and I haven?t really followed it. Not the top of my concerns in life.
However:
tariffs is one set of issues.
Land management, and the right of Reclamation.
Survey and boundary.
Private trade and state level treaties.

Slavery was the glue that held the south together as the CSA and the primary major concern but wasn?t the only issue.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

A better analogy might be what if the KKK started a boycott of minority owned businesses, and a local company publicly stated they would comply with that boycott. Should the state be allowed to sever ties with that company? Should the state be compelled to support a business that supports the goals of the KKK?

naschsays:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Should the state be compelled to support a business that supports the goals of the KKK?

Unless there is a carve out for inciting violence or something along those lines, yes, as far as I know. Racist speech is protected speech. KKK and Nazi propaganda has the same protections as anything else (again subject to the limitations I mentioned).

Lostinlodossays:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Good response. That?s kind of what I was trying to get at.
It?s not so much what.
It?s, should a state be forced to do business with a company the majority government doesn?t want to conduct business with?
It doesn?t matter if it?s the KKK or the New Black Panthers. Israel or Palestine.
Does the state not have the right to change its business policies based on the actions of a supplier?

Lostinlodossays:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

?For some reason you keep omitting the part about those actions being protected by the Constitution.?

Because it?s irrelevant.
I have one question.
Does a state have the right to chose who it spends state funds with.
That?s a yes/no question.

If no, than who decides?

If yes, then the company suddenly becoming a neo-nazi cornerstone could not be reason to not renew a contract? Or not create one in the first place?

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Because it?s irrelevant."

I think people really need you to explain why a government choosing to materially punish a company as a direct result of its exercise of free speech is not a constitutional problem. Godwinning the argument doesn’t answer that central point.

Lostinlodossays:

Re: Re: Re:13 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

?Really need?
The part you?re ignoring is why a state should be beholden to a national or multinational company.

This doesn?t bar anyone other than the state itself.
Therefore it?s not infringing free speech.

Either you didn?t read the links or you don?t understand.
This does not change anything outside of the Florida state government.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:14 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

"The part you?re ignoring is why a state should be beholden to a national or multinational company."

They shouldn’t. Similarly, any company, large or small, should not be beholden to sanctions because they exercised their rights elsewhere. The state can choose not to deal with the company for other reasons, it becomes problematic when it’s because they expressed an opinion.

"This doesn?t bar anyone other than the state itself."

Indeed. It’s the state choosing to place financial sanctions on a supplier expressly because they disagree with their exercise of free speech.

This isn’t a hard concept to understand, except that as usual, you are making it your mission not to understand basic concepts.

Lostinlodossays:

Re: Re: Re:15 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

You still didn?t cover a reply to my very simple two part
Yes
No question.

? financial sanctions on a supplier expressly because they disagree with their exercise of free speech.?
See: this is what you and I are disagreeing in.

I don?t understand why you think a state should be required to do business with a company that violates the opinion of the state?s governing bodies.
There is zero consequence except with who the state considers for contracting.

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: Re:18 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Using your own words you still didn’t cover a reply to my very simple yes/no question, so have you stopped beating your wife, yes or no?

(Or we can skip the song and dance where I agree it’s a stupid question because a simple yes/no isn’t always the proper response and I note that I only brought it up to highlight that your question falls into the same category. If you do want to continue phrasing your question as a simple yes/no one though my ‘have you stopped beating your wife’ question stands.)

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: This is actually a few scoops deeper...

"Ben and Jerry’s is ‘divesting’ from operations in parts of Israel, in line with the goals of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which is often criticized as being anti-semitic and for having links to terrorist groups."

Unfortunately parts of Israel’s government have in recent years heavily diluted the meaning of the word "anti-semitic" which used to be a connotation for racism and bigotry but is now often being used as an expedient tool to describe "people who don’t like our policy".

There are certainly grounds for sanctions against Israel’s government; They have been occupying land where other people live, refusing to either integrate the territory or release it, for decades. They are steadfastly refusing to contain and prevent nationalist settlers with agendas smacking of ethnic cleansing. They are, in effect, forcing a region to be an independent nation under permanent suppression.

When it comes to the occupied territories Israel needs to shit or get off the pot. Either assimilate the whole territory with the resultant expenditure of resources required to turn the next generation of palestinians into productive and peaceful israeli citizens…or leave the place alone. The refusal to do either has perpetuated this festering sore and necessitated one compromise against civil principles after the other to retain the status quo.

The fact that there are reasons the situation looks like it does isn’t really relevant. That other countries and organizations react to a situation which would similarly be considered unacceptable and direct subject to sanctions were it any other nation responsible isn’t going to be cured by Israel desperately trying to suppress the condemnation it’s receiving due to good and valid reason.

When you know there are people out there who hate you for who you were born as the last thing you can afford to do is provide credible reason for censure; The nazis will cheerfully lean right into that situation and posit it as affirmation of their agenda.

As far as the BDS goes, that movement has none of the hallmarks of an organized agenda. It’s badly financed, scattered, and has difficulties determining a solid agenda. It’s certainly openly anti-zionist given it’s three core criteria…but the issue there is that those criteria are reasonable given that Israel is de facto acting as a colonial power, keeping an entire region in a state somewhere between "second-class citizenry" and "hostile power".
I have no doubt anti-semites are to be found in BDS. All they have to do is curb their normal venom down to the reasonable assertion that the nation of Israel is in a state universally condemned by every western nation since the establishment of the UN and no one will be the wiser about the reason they’re pushing their agenda a few steps further.

Israel certainly has a right to exist. That’s given. Also given is that no nation has the right to oppress a minority demographic or practice colonialism. That, unfortunately, is what is being done.

Calling out the nazis on their bullshit used to be far easier. Israel trying to fit the shoe they’re describing in their current open talking points isn’t helping. Because if they manage a resurgence by letting them slide "Israel (quiet voice; ze jews) is doing bad things" into the public debate…then we all lose.

QED above? Whether B&J are with BSD or, for that matter, secretly run by odal-waving neo-nazis is beside the point. They can rightfully point at old south africa and claim that they do nothing more than what the whole world agreed was to take a humanitarian stance.

Israel’s actions – a refusal to acknowledge the places where they are at fault – keep ending up costing them the allies who view them like peers and hold them to that standard, in favor of those "allies" who want Israel around because their sectarian faith demands Israel’s existence as a backdrop for the second coming of christ. At the end of that road the Israeli politicians currently assuming a fortress mentality will be proven right – because it will eventually and gradually shift the narrative until Israel has effectively become South Africa v2.0.

When Rabin was killed something fundamental died in Israel…and they need to bring that back while there’s still a difference between that country and its enemies.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: This is actually a few scoops deeper...

"Such as?"

If it concerns BDS then their own mission statement should serve. If nothing else they are very openly anti-zionist in their belief that every palestinian in the occupied territories should have the full Iraeli citizenship. Israel, for both national security reasons and a fear of losing their capstone status as a "Jewish" state first and foremost, have always treated this with absolute rejection. Rabin came closest to a compromise but for daring to utter it, his own people murdered him.

naschsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is actually a few scoops deeper...

If it concerns BDS then their own mission statement should serve.

I know it was way up the page, but the criticisms I was asking about are that it is anti-semitic and has links to terrorist organizations. Unsurprisingly, the person making those claims did not reply. I assume you were thinking of something else, because their web site says this:

"BDS is an inclusive, anti-racist human rights movement that is opposed on principle to all forms of discrimination, including anti-semitism and Islamophobia."

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: This is actually a few scoops deeper...

"…but the criticisms I was asking about are that it is anti-semitic and has links to terrorist organizations."

That depends on your point of view. Are the palestinian authorities a "terrorist organization"? Given that it’s mainly Hamas we’re talking about, that would be a fair point.

The problem is that it’s an unfair question unless you add context and specifics. Every nation and most organizations have "links" to "terrorist" organizations. The question is which type of link that is.

Something europeans have learned the hard way having to deal with Rote Armee Fraktion, IRA/Sinn Fein, PKK and the basques, to name but a few.

The problem is that most people think of terrorists as a wingnut with some holy book in one hand and a detonator for his bomb belt in the other. They don’t bring up kurdish freedom fighters, the irish sinn fein member from olden days, the afghanistan mountain tribal whose cousin was killed at his wedding by US clusterbombs or the palestinian firing back at the settlers who have been sniping the family orchard.

Yet the targeted opposition will always cheerfully lump them right in with the inhumane and unreasonable to strengthen the narrative that every freedom fighter is a monstrous terrorist bereft of any reason or cause.

Is BDS anti-semitic? Depends on your pov. What they want on paper is reasonable. The problem being that "reasonable" demands undermining Israeli national security or abolishing it’s status as a Jewish homeland by naturalizing a vast herd of palestinians who for generations have been given good and valid reason not to like Israel very much.

To every Israeli hawk, BDS is no doubt anti-semitic. As is anyone who dares question the settlements or "palestinian policy" these days.
A few years back I read a column in Haaretz by an Israeli journalist who warned that the settlements are a slower and gentler endl?sung since the unavoidable end game of that policy has always been to make sure the occupied territories end up populated only by jewish fanatics. There will be no room for the second-class palestinian non-citizens in those areas.

Back in the 90’s it was that realization which prompted Rabin to seek serious consultations with Arafat, recognizing that any compromise heading off that future would be better than the other options on the table, if the situation continued.

Then he was assassinated by a jewish fanatic, and the israeli-palestinian cooperation which had gotten off to a great start died with him. The "Us vs the world" mindset is stronger than ever and rather than turn away from the monster in their midst in horror, all too many israelis embrace it, seeing no solution which won’t tear their nation apart.

Today if you question Israel about anything at all, some asshat who would never have gotten anywhere near power in times past will be quick to call you an anti-semite and a worthy heir of hitler. Real nazis naturally lean right into this – so if your organization was anything other than extremely pro-israel come hell or high water, it will become anti-semitic soon enough as nazis slide right in by just tempering their rhetoric a little.

Anonymoussays:

We are going to boycott B&J, divest from its parent company, and use government power to sanction a private business for its speech to show that boycotts, divestment, and sanctions are wrong.

Also we are going to BDS the fuck out of Cuba while we proclaim BDS to be a form of terrorism. I don’t disagree that the US and Israel regularly do things that could easily be labeled terrorism, but I don’t think that’s the message they were going for.

It also doesn’t do a whole lot to quell the "anti-Semitic trope" of Jewish puppeteering when US elected officials ignore the 1st amendment rights of Americans in favor of Israel’s demands.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re:

"It also doesn’t do a whole lot to quell the "anti-Semitic trope" of Jewish puppeteering when US elected officials ignore the 1st amendment rights of Americans in favor of Israel’s demands."

That’s the poison in the well here; There are good and valid reasons to criticize the Israeli government over plenty of things, chief among them the way they are treating a region of occupied territory as an old-style british colony while allowing small bands of heavily armed zealot nationalists to pull a slow program of pseudo-ethnic cleansing guised as "settlement" in that region.

And the nazis lean into this, naturally. When a nazi starts talking about the "global jewish conspiracy" you can throw them right out of the debate. When their talking point is the same as reasonable people, that gets harder.
And when the fortress mentality hawks of Israel start screaming about how the reasonable people daring to criticize Israel are all anti-semites those reasonable people rapidly drop out of the debate. Because although everyone can be inclined to help the righteous against the unrighteous few can be bothered to muster the same zeal to protect a thug from a monster.

I miss Rabin. He almost had peace on the table…until Israeli fanatics murdered him.

Anonymoussays:

Israel is afraid any boycotts could spread to other Companys and their could be international boycotts because it is clearly in violation of international law in its treatment of non Israelis and its lack of respect for human rights eg its also exporting software to Saudi Arabia to spy to on activists and jpurnalists
Anyone that criticises israel is accused of being anti jew
Nso group is backed by the government
Imagine if America was selling missiles to Russia or the taliban
Nso software is being used against so called allys of Israel like France

Anonymoussays:

Not antisemitism

Abstaining from doing buisness in illegally occupied territories isn’t antisemitism. This should be common sense, but to some people being critical of any Israeli policy addressing the Palestinians is antisemitic.

On another note, something that’s somewhat concerning is that I feel that Israel is often criticized more than other countries that employ comparable policies.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Not antisemitism

"…something that’s somewhat concerning is that I feel that Israel is often criticized more than other countries that employ comparable policies."

Oh, they are. Anti-semitic groups are persistent. The problem is that their propaganda is starting to stick – because Israel really is acting like a bully. No one likes a racist, but in similar vein no one likes a schoolyard bully either, no matter their ethnicity.

It also doesn’t help that Israel, while persistently penalizing the occupied territories, keeps portraying itself as the highest standard of ethics in the region, with the "most moral army", in the face of the vast pile of incontrovertible evidence that they are anything but.
Other countries doing similar shit are either rogue states or keeping very quiet about what they do. They don’t draw attention to their malfeasance by trying to claim the moral high ground.

This puts everyone else in an awkward position. Metaphorically there’s this guy obviously assaulting other people in public view while demanding that because of your friendship you should just turn the other eye and hold his cloak. If you hold him back he won’t be your friend any longer, if you tell him to stop he’ll call you a bigot and racist, and if you double down on having his back that’s not going to be a good look for you.

Meanwhile to the israeli hawks being abandoned by the world would be the best they could hope for because that’ll turn their narrative of "us against the world" true. The victim being every other jew in the world who’ll get smeared by the same brush courtesy of anti-semites everywhere.

It’s getting to the point where the chief protagonists of defamation are becoming the Israeli government.

Zanesays:

Re: Re: Not antisemitism

"I feel that Israel is often criticized more than other countries that employ comparable policies."
I think it’s the opposite personally. If any other western democracy was occupying people, I don’t think we would be explaining away its actions like we do Israel.

  1. We never hear politicians in the West defend human rights abuses from other regimes, it just never happens. They sometimes remain silent, which is bad. But they don’t actively try to justify the actions of say Saudi Arabia. No politician ever claims that children are human shields in other conflicts, and blame the oppressed as opposed to the regime doing the killing.
  2. We fund and provide arms to the likes of Israel, whereas we don’t for other regimes. As such we are complicit in the crimes (as well as point 1 regarding offering political support)
  3. Israel describes itself as a Western Style democracy, as such it should be compared to other western style democracies. But is seeks to compare itself to the worst human rights abusers in the world. A race to the bottom. The likes of Saudi Arabia doesn’t seem bothered about being known as a brutal regime.

Israel describes itself as a Western style democracy. The likes of Saudi Arabia, China or any other serial human rights abusers do not make such claims.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Not antisemitism

"Israel describes itself as a Western style democracy. The likes of Saudi Arabia, China or any other serial human rights abusers do not make such claims."

That’s basically it in a nutshell. They’re in a club which has certain standards written on the founding charter. And unlike other club members who sometimes play fast and loose with those rules Israel is being very persistent in breaking them in very obvious ways.

And that’s the thing; No sane person is going to talk to Emperor Xi or Agent Putin and expect a good faith discourse on rights. But when you go to Tel Aviv you don’t expect to meet a stone-faced party apparatchik or loyal vassal of the Son of Heaven. You expect to meet an erudite mild-mannered metropolitan with a sense of humor with whom you have a lot of common ground in principle.

Or so it used to be. These days I’m not sure what you’d encounter.
At least the current Yemina coalition has in it’s charter to turn the occupied territories into Israel proper but given recent leadership I have to wonder if that’s going to be including or excluding the current inhabitants, given their focus on expanding the settlements.

sumgaisays:

I have never been to Israel, or any other part of the MIddle East, so I don’t have any opinion of note regarding that country and/or it’s citizenry, let alone its politics. Additionally, I’m also unconcerned about any trademark battles going on because US law doesn’t apply outside of the US – that’s where International Trademark law takes over, and Shurat HaDin will find itself with a germ-infested scoop laying on the ground. (ref. Osmosis Jones)

Instead, I’m quite curious about this statement:

… will receive legal protection to sell the exact same ice cream, …

Oh? And just how do they expect to get away with using B&J’s exact same formula, eh? No one can patent ice cream in general, but they certainly can copyright their formula for a particular flavor. I’m thinking that someone is going to "walk back" that statement in the near future, or the legal war over B&J’s action will become very serious indeed.

Tanner Andrewssays:

Re: Re:

just how do they expect to get away with using B&J’s exact same formula

Should be no problem. Even if the recipe is copyrighted, they are not printing and selling copies. And the trademark issue has been discussed separately. A trade secret problem seems unlikely, because the people who know specifics are probably located stateside and in any event are not producing product in the territories.

If they can find the same ingredients, they can mix them how they will. Ingredients may be a problem, because cattle, chickens, sugar cane, and vanilla extract may not be commonly grown in the area, and standards of purity may differ, but they can certainly imitate the original B&J product to the best of their abilities.

Edsays:

F Israel

I have nothing against the Israeli people except for the fact that they keep voting for extremist politicians who are running a South African-style Apartheid government. The government of Israel is sh*t, criticism of the government is NOT "anti-Semitic". Their claims that any criticism is "anti-Semitic" is absurd. The gov’t of Israel needs a major smackdown from the rest of the civilized world. They’ve been allowed to metastasize like a cancer for far too long.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: F Israel

"Their claims that any criticism is "anti-Semitic" is absurd."

It’s become their go-to lately. When Rabin died at the hands of a jewish fanatic something died in that nation. While moderates and liberals were reeling the right seized power – getting malicious kooks like Netanyahu and Liebermann into office.

And the chief issue here is that to the right-wing extremists in Israel it is a god thing if Israel manages to turn the rest of the world against it, because it would give their fortress narrative of "us vs everyone" truth.

The ones paying the bill for that short-sighted and appalling clown act will be jews everywhere because the neo-nazis will lean right into the PR so thoughtfully supplied by the Israeli knesset.

The reason this shit is happening goes right back to the founding of Israel which was managed in a union between liberal and erudite jews intent on building a modern world nation, fundamentalist orthodox jews who wanted a holy land, and extreme right-wingers who wanted a fortress to sit in and look out on the hostile world from. With Rabins death the last third took power, breaking the balance.

tpsays:

Different name for the ice cream will solve the whole issue

Couldn’t they just use different name for the ice cream? There’s no point choosing exactly the same brand name for the product that comes from completely different vendor. Every product should stand on their own benefits and disadvantages to the consumer. Taking someone elses brand name is not acceptable, even if you don’t like all the features of their product.

Zanesays:

If Israel doesn’t want companies to boycott the settlements or Israel itself, all it has to do is stop illegal settlements, respect basic human rights and respect international law. It’s absurd for Israel to look at anti-BDS laws to prevent legitimate protests, whilst it simultaneously disregards much more important rights given to all in international law. Hopefully other companies will realize that allowing their products to be sold in occupied land or indeed Israel itself is a political statement and is supporting apartheid polices as well as ethnic cleansing.
Israel can complain about the oppressed shooting off rockets, but the alternative to violent protesting is non-violent protests like boycotting.

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