Joel Doerfler

An occupation is illegal under international law

Though most of Martin Cohn's response to my Viewpoint on Ben & Jerry's decision to stop selling its ice cream in the occupied territories [“For now, two cheers for Ben & Jerry's,” Oct. 20] recycles well-known Israeli talking points, he deviates from the party line by implying that Israel's presence in the West Bank and other areas does, indeed, represent an occupation - albeit an occupation he considers to be justified.

The authorized Zionist nomenclature for these territories is “disputed,” not “occupied.” The reason Israel insists on this language is that if the West Bank and Jerusalem are considered “occupied,” then Israeli policies in these areas are bound by the international legal instruments governing the conduct of occupying powers.

Among the numerous policies prohibited by these instruments is “the transfer of the civilian population of the occupying power into the occupied territory,” i.e., the establishment of permanent settlements.

There are currently approximately 700,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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For now, two cheers for Ben & Jerry's

We should celebrate the ice cream manufacturer’s new policy of not selling its product in occupied Palestinian territories. We should also be disturbed by the company’s justifications.

Responding to a decade-long campaign initiated by Vermonters for Justice in Palestine, Ben & Jerry's announced on July 19 that it would no longer sell its ice cream in the occupied Palestinian territories after the company's current franchising agreement expires at the end of 2022. Writing in The New...

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An assault on discourse

A sustained, orchestrated, and well-financed nationwide effort seeks to shut down any and all criticism of Israel and its policies, by any means necessary

After 40 years of teaching history in New York City independent schools, I resigned last June to protest the abrupt cancellation of an elective course I had taught for many years dealing with the Israel/Palestine conflict. The school administration had made no criticism of the way I conducted this...

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