(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) In its anti-Israel advocacy, the charitable foundation associated with Ben & Jerry‘s may have committed criminal self-dealing by awarding $170,500 to a trustee’s think tank, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Ben & Jerry’s corporate board Chairwoman Anuradha Mittal, an Hamas and Hezbollah sympathizer, resides at the scandal’s center.
In addition to her powerful corporate position, Mittal serves as a trustee for the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation—the company’s social justice grantmaking foundation—and she also founded and is executive director of the Oakland Institute, an independent progressive think tank.
Mittal’s leadership roles in both the grantor and grantee organizations betrays an obvious conflict of interest and a potential crime.
“Rules governing self-dealing are in place to keep even the most honest on the straight and narrow,” said Tom Anderson, director of the National Legal and Policy Center’s Government Integrity Project.
“Anuradha Mittal and Ben and Jerry’s have an obligation to adhere to these rules and should immediately be subject to an administrative review of all of their policies and procedures by Unilever,” he said. “Depending on the outcome an audit may need to be performed to rein in what appears to be an out-of-control [Board of Directors].”
The ice cream company is a subsidiary of Unilever, but operates independently of its parent corporation.
As Ben & Jerry’s chairwoman, Mittal advanced the plan to stop ice cream sales in the West Bank, an area Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War after Islamic nations attacked it.
The Oakland Institute published an article whose author defends Hamas in principle, while supposedly distancing himself from open support for terrorist organizations.
“You do not have to agree with all of Hezbollah’s ideas to support their resistance to Israel,” wrote Todd Chretien, a Green Party candidate in California’s 2006 Senate race.
“Hezbollah has emerged as the hero to millions of Arabs and Muslims,” he wrote. “Hezbollah’s fight will encourage the resistance in Iraq and it will give a boost to opposition forces in Egypt, Jordan and other American client states.”
In a 2006 policy brief, Mittal lamented the Bush administration’s decision to “not support a Palestinian government made up of Hamas” as long as Hamas does “not support the right of Israel” to exist, the Free Beacon reported.
The Bush administration cut off aid even after Hamas “assured the international community that all aid revenues will be used on salaries, daily lives, and infrastructure.”
Palestinians in Gaza voted to elect Hamas, so she argued that the Bush administration’s cut to foreign aid amounted to an attack on democratic procedures.
“The U.S. has threatened to sever humanitarian aid to the people of Palestine for exercising their right to vote,” Mittal wrote.
In 2017, the Oakland Institute interviewed Bassem Tamimi, a Palestinian man who was convicted for throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers.
Tamimi claims Israel arrests Palestinian children to “steal their organs.”
The Oakland Institute granted $3,000 to the BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights in 2017, the New York Post reported.
The European Union rescinded $2 million from BADIL in 2020 because the group refused to sign an “anti-terror” statement that would have prevented them from funneling the money to groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.