OH, THE IRONY: Students Demand Ben & Jerry’s Leave Occupied Tribal Land In Vermont

Illustrative. American Indian reservation.

Israeli students and academics sent a letter to Ben & Jerry’s accusing it of illegally occupying land in Vermont that once belonged to the Abenaki native American tribe.

The letter, which was obtained by the New York Post, was signed by over 1,000 Israeli students and academics affiliated with Students for Justice in America, and was supported by Shurat HaDin, an Israeli NGO.

“We have concluded that your company’s occupation of the Abenaki lands is illegal and we believe it is wholly inconsistent with the stated values that Ben & Jerry’s purports to maintain,” the students wrote. “Ironically, in July of the last year you announced that you would discontinue the sale of your products in Israel because you object to the Jewish State allegedly occupying Palestinian territories.”

“Ben and Jerry’s has never even offered to provide compensation to this indigenous nation in Vermont. Justice, morality and boycotts are not just slogans and antisemitic weapons for your food company to point at the Jewish community in Israel. Justice and morality must begin at home.”

The students also demanded that Ben & Jerry’s immediately evacuate the territories it occupies in Vermont and “return them to the Abenaki people”, stating, “your company has no right to these stolen territories.”

“Ben & Jerry’s blatant hypocrisy has now been revealed by these Israeli students,” said Shurat HaDin president, Nitsana Darshan Leitner. “Ben and Jerry’s speak with a forked tongue.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. 1. All of the Americas is “occupied land”, from an American Indian viewpoint. In fact, almost the entire planet is occupied land upon which at some point in the past an “invader” came in a displaced (drove off, or genocided) the inhabitants.

    2. Very displaced indigenous groups stay in existence very long (and more than a few centuries is “very long” in this context after displacement. The Yidden are the only exception, and it should be noted that our reassertion of our claims has met great opposition from those who thought they had gotten rid of us. However we too were not indigenous to our homeland (remember Avraham Aveinu came from Mesopotamia)

    3. If you look at Rashi’s commentary on the first lines of Humash, it is a very clear statement rejecting both indigenous rights and opposition to indigenous rights, by asserting a claim of prior ownership (by Ha-Shem).
    Since Ha-Shem owns Vermont, and hasn’t expressed any interest in whether the Indians or Unilever shoujld control it, the question is open.

  2. Pretty sure it’s against the Torah to invade a foreign land and kill people for their land unless there’s a direct commandment from Hashem e.g. The jews being commanded to take over Canaan.

  3. Lakewhut, pretty sure you have no clue what you’re talking about. Care to list a source? There are many sources that contradict, including Brachos 3b.

  4. Forgive my ignorance but didn’t the Native Americans also battle each other for land? Why are the white people who occupy their former lands worse than they were?

  5. Lakewhut, on the contrary, according to the Torah a king has every right to attack and try to conquer any land he likes, and he is entitled to kill up to a sixth of the world’s population in doing so, and whatever he conquers belongs to him.

    As Yiftach wrote to the King of Ammon: Whatever (you imagine) Kemosh your god caused you to conquer is rightfully yours, and whatever Hashem caused us to conquer is rightfully ours.

  6. It is the right of kings to wage war, even goyishe kings.

    To conquer and subjugate a neighboring territory for resources is entirely permitted in halacha.