Politics Israel forms task force to pressure Ben & Jerry's to reverse boycott: report
Idea of US 'diplomatic boycott' of Beijing Olympics resurfaces
The idea of a "diplomatic boycott" by the United States of the winter Olympic Games in Beijing in February -- to protest human rights violations by China -- is gaining traction among some lawmakers in Washington. Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement that a diplomatic boycott would be the "correct call" for the United States in Beijing. And Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has since May called for a diplomatic boycott of the Olympic Games, a move which at the time drew furious reactions from Chinese officials.
The Israeli government has created a task force to push Ben & Jerry's into loosening restrictions against Israeli-occupied territories,.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry last week reportedly ordered all Israeli diplomatic missions in North America and Europe to begin pushing the ice cream company, owned by Unilever, into negotiations, with a goal of getting it to nix its new policy.
Diplomats were directed to "encourage public protests in the media and directly with key executives in both companies" as well as in front of the company's corporate offices. They were also instructed to issue statements against the companies on social media and target investors.
Biden 'considering' a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics hosted by China
A U.S. boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics would be a major snub to China as it confronts scrutiny for its human rights record and other issues.It's "something we are considering," Biden said when asked about a U.S. diplomatic boycott of the Games, set for Beijing in February.
"We need to make use of the 18 months that are left until the decision comes into force and try to change it," a cable sent to diplomats read, according to Axios. "We want to create long-term pressure on Unilever and Ben & Jerry's by consumers, politicians, and in the press and social media in order to lead to a dialogue with the companies."
Video: Ben & Jerry's sparks Israel ire with pullout (Reuters)
The notice also slammed the decision as "hypocritical," stating it "smells like extreme cancel culture."
The Israel government's push to put pressure on the ice cream company comes after Ben & Jerry's announced it would no longer be selling its products in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in east Jerusalem.
"We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry's ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,". "We also hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners."
The traditionally socially conscious company has since Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.from several , including from Florida Gov.
Syria Tells Israel It Will Defend Itself 'By All Means' After Back-to-Back Strikes .
The Syrian Foreign Ministry "reiterated its warning to Israel of the dangerous repercussions of its continuous attacks and holds it fully responsible for them."The Syrian Foreign Ministry released a statement Thursday railing against the latest "cowardly Israeli aggression" after an air raid Wednesday in the Al-Qusayr region of Homs province. The statement alluded to an earlier attack also blamed on Israel against the Al-Safira region in Aleppo.