Last week was a tumultuous one in the world of kashrut & Israel advocacy stemming from Ben & Jerry’s anti-Israel, BDS-inspired announcement. As a result, many kosher & non-kosher markets have removed Ben & jerry’s products from their shelves in the US & abroad.
Additionally, many contacted and lobbied the Kof-K in the US to remove their hashgacha due to the announcement made. In an article in the Forward, I argued that we should refrain from using kashrut as a political weapon, that we needed to separate bodies of Halacha and politics, even though we know that many cases of the two being intertwined routinely take place. We can’t both complain about politics in kashrut and then also be the cause of politics in it.
It seems that the Kof-K agrees (without expressing it explicitly), based on how I’m reading their letter in response to this controversy.
The Kof-K has been in touch with the government and orgs in Israel as well as with Unilever directly to attempt to reverse the company’s decision, which officially goes into effect on 1/1/23. In their letter, the kashrut org stresses that the public should pressure Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s directly (and thus, not the kashrut agency).
Part of that pressure can and should be an economic one, which is already taking place at our supermarkets and via numerous state and local governments in the US with anti-BDS laws on the books.
So, for now, until at least 1/1/23, Kof-K will maintain their kashrut of Ben & Jerry’s products produced in the US.