I’m a simple guy with simple likes and dislikes. Huge fan of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (anything chocolate). I’ve had a lifelong love affair with Israel. And I also can’t stand the occupation #Thread🧵 1/12
My family’s from Israel. I’ve lived there. I’m proud of so much of what the country has accomplished. 2/12
But it's just not right for Israel to rule over millions of Palestinians without full rights while it moves its own citizens onto land that one day must and should become the state of the Palestinian people. 3/12
My fondest hope is that Israel will be a secure, just, democratic national home for the Jewish people. But it can never be this if it permanently holds the territory it occupied in 1967 without providing the people who live there with full and equal rights. 4/12
So when Ben & Jerry’s says it wants to sell ice cream in Israel but not in the settlements, that seems, to me, to be a rational and principled and even pro-Israel, position. 5/12
Pause for a quick advertisement – if you’d like to add your name to our petition listing people who are *not* going into meltdown over the Ben & Jerry’s decision, add your name here to show that not everyone is outraged by this. 6/12

I’m honestly blown away by the overreaction of those calling this decision “antisemitic.” Antisemitism is brutal and real. My family lost lives because of it. Jews around the world fear it on a daily basis. 7/12
Calling this “antisemitic” is absurd. It undermines and trivializes the important fight against the very real increase in antisemitism, white nationalism and ethnonationalism. It’s also inconceivable to me that people are calling for B&J's to face governmental retaliation. 8/12
Both J Street and I oppose the Global BDS Movement, which doesn’t recognize the state of Israel or the Jewish people’s right to a national homeland. But when a company says it will continue to do business in Israel, that’s no boycott. 9/12
So that’s how I see it. The over-the-top response to this decision is unwarranted and harmful. B&J’s decision is a legitimate, peaceful protest against the systemic injustice of occupation and a reminder that the settlements are, in fact, illegal under international law. 10/12
It’s a line in the sand between Israel and the occupation that ought to make sense to the overwhelming majority of Jewish Americans who support a two-state solution and oppose settlement expansion (polls linked). 11/12 jstreet.org/polling/
At @jstreetdotorg, our work is to make sure that the voice of this majority is heard loud and clear. That’s why we’d be extremely grateful if you could take a moment to add your name to our petition and amplify our more ‘chill’ response. 12/12

P.S. If you’re going to buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, try my two favorite flavors together: Netflix & Chilled combined with Chunky Monkey.

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More from @JeremyBenAmi

21 Jul
It's over the top and counterproductive for Israel's Ambassador to the US/UN to refer to @benandjerrys' decision not to sell its products in occupied Palestinian territory as antisemitism, say it 'dehumanizes Jews' or liken it to an act of violence or hatred. 1/6
And it’s downright harmful to the US-Israel relationship when Israeli officials lobby for enforcement of constitutionally dubious laws that trample on Americans’ First Amendment rights. 2/6
Hopefully the new Israeli gov't has learned from the tremendous damage done to the US-Israel relationship by Netanyahu's active interference in US politics. There is no reason to double down on that mistake. 3/6
Read 6 tweets
19 Jul
When a major ice cream company originally founded by two Jewish entrepreneurs decides not to sell its products in the occupied territories, that isn’t antisemitism.
The fight against antisemitism would be helped a great deal if the Israeli gov't & US Jewish leaders would stop using the term against those who draw a principled and rational distinction between commercial transactions in the State of Israel & those in the territory it occupies.
Instead of demonizing and attacking companies and individuals making principled decisions about how to interact financially with the occupation, these leaders would make a greater contribution to the fight against antisemitism by helping end the unjust and harmful occupation.
Read 4 tweets
23 Jun 19
No economic plan can substitute for a political agreement addressing the core issues driving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 1/6
No showpiece economic conference can make up for the hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian assistance that this White House has already cruelly cut. 2/6
It takes an unfathomable level of chutzpah for this administration to roll out an investment plan for Palestinians with photos of USAID programs that they themselves have recently cut. 3/6
Read 6 tweets
3 Jun 19
The Jared Kushner Axios interview with @JonathanvSwan making the rounds today is exactly as amoral and delusional as everyone is saying. It’s hard to identify the *worst* part. 1/8
It’s astounding, for example, that someone holding themselves out to be the key negotiator in an Israeli-Palestinian 'peace' plan brushes off concerns over his one-sided approach by proudly claiming "I'm not here to be trusted." 2/8
Asked about claiming to want to improve life for the Palestinian people while cutting support for their hospitals and schools, he replies: “There’s a difference between the Palestinian leadership and the Palestinian people.”
Who does he think uses the hospitals and schools? 3/8
Read 8 tweets

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