Blood is thicker than water, goes the old saying. Yet that maxim doesn’t always hold true. For example, any civil war provides countless examples of men killing their brothers, parents and any number of their countrymen with whom they were at ideological odds.
Perhaps that adage should be amended to say that blood may be thicker than water, but ideology is thicker than blood. And if you don’t believe me, look at Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the Ben & Jerry of the ice cream fame.
The eponymous Ben and Jerry sold the chain to Unilever in 2000, but they still take it close to heart. And, using the same organ, they “unequivocally support” the company’s decision to boycott Israeli settlements by refusing to sell ice cream in the West Bank.
“We are the founders of Ben & Jerry’s. We are also proud Jews…, supporters of the State of Israel,” explained Ben and Jerry. “But it’s possible to support Israel and oppose some of its policies, just as we’ve opposed policies of the U.S. government.”
By way of a nuance that’s beyond that duo’s comprehension, boycotting trade with a country goes beyond political disagreement. For example, I despise most EU policies, which doesn’t prevent me from washing down my pasta with burgundy.
Anyway, no ice cream for the “occupied territories, which the international community, including the United Nations, has deemed an illegal occupation… Ben & Jerry’s took the step to align its business and operations with its progressive values.”
One of the ironclad progressive values is sympathy with the Muslims’ sacred vow to wipe Israel off the map and exterminate every Jew living there. This stands to reason: progressive values are always aligned in opposition to Western civilisation, of which Israel is the sole bulwark in the Middle East.
It’s in those Arabian sands that the line is drawn between those who support Israel and hence the West – us – and those who detest both.
The first group, in addition to most Jews, includes everyone committed to the defence and preservation of a civilisation that used to go by the name of Judaeo-Christian. Such people may be conservatives, Christians, Christian conservatives, secular conservatives or simply decent folk who are appalled by the Holocaust and don’t wish to see a repeat performance.
The second group includes most Muslims, most anti-Semites, most lefties, and idiots who recognise UN directives as moral dicta or else don’t realise that Israel is in the vanguard of a civilisational clash.
Muslims apart, such is the composition of the group that’s these days called progressive or liberal, whereas in fact it’s the opposite of both. And, as Ben and Jerry prove, their ideology can indeed be thicker than blood. It may well triumph when clashing with other allegiances.
Messrs Ben and Jerry also bear out my lifelong observation that business acumen doesn’t always go together with general intelligence. To wit:
Equating opposition to American and to Israeli policies is simply daft. Unlike Israel, America isn’t involved in a day-to-day struggle for physical survival. Some of her policies may be worse than others, but none has a life-or-death significance. Even the invariably inane policies of the present administration will only make America poorer and more crime-ridden. They won’t make her non-existent.
Why, America can even afford to lose the odd war, such as the one in Vietnam, and still live to tell about it. No such luxury for Israel: any lost war will spell Holocaust Mark II.
This ought to determine the angle from which one looks at Israel’s policies, including the occupation of the West Bank. The advance that so upsets Ben and Jerry was made possible by Israel’s stunning six-day victory over Egypt, Syria and Jordan in 1967.
That war ensued after the Arab coalition, armed, trained and supported by the Soviet bloc, decided to make good its promise to “drive Israel into the sea”. Israel – and the Israelis – managed to survive, claiming some territories as spoils of war.
Most of those have since been returned to the Arabs, but Israel has kept some of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Those areas have since become home to about 400,000 Israelis, who have turned that arid desert of hateful barbarism into an oasis of civilisation.
Quite apart from securing more space for Israel’s burgeoning population, the settlements have a strategic significance. They prevent that area from becoming a springboard for yet another barbaric onslaught, with the settlers acting as the first line of defence, or, if you’d rather, a tripwire device.
I’m not privy to the fine points of Israeli strategic planning, and neither, I’m sure, are Ben and Jerry. However, I think a country that in my lifetime has fought and won six wars against its enemies – our enemies – deserves the benefit of the doubt when it comes to survival.
But Ben and Jerry haven’t formed their views on the basis of strategic analysis. Their double knee simply jerked in the direction of ‘progressive’ values.
“We believe this act can and should be seen as advancing the concepts of justice and human rights, core tenets of Judaism.”
So they think that the murderous wild-eyed fanatics advance human rights every time they fire a rocket at Israelis, or indeed when they stone adulterers and push homosexuals off tall buildings. How about their terrorism in Europe? Is that just too?
As to the core tenets of Judaism, I wonder when they last read, say, Exodus. I don’t think Moses, Aaron and Joshua were overly concerned with the human rights of the pagans inhabiting the Promised Land. But then of course they weren’t champions of progressive values.
I hope you’ll join me in boycotting Ben & Jerry ice cream. Buy Häagen-Dazs instead – it’s better anyway.