A co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream has donated more than $1 million to a group that is urging an end to US military support for Ukraine as the country tries to stave off a Russian invasion.
Ben Cohen — who with Jerry Greenfield started the ice cream behemoth in 1978 — told the Daily Beast: “I think the US should use its power to negotiate an end to the war, not prolong the death and destruction by supplying more weapons.”
Cohen is head of the People Power Initiatives — one of whose projects is Eisenhower Media Network, which bills itself as “an organization of expert former military, intelligence, and civilian national security officials … [which] seeks to reach broad, cross-partisan audiences in diverse media outlets and among the American people.”
The former national security officials promoted by EMN, including retired US Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, a former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, have argued that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was provoked by NATO expansion eastward.
Dennis Fritz, the director of EMN, told the Daily Beast: “We gave Putin just cause [to invade Ukraine].”
News of Cohen’s involvement with EMN prompted Twitter users to demand a boycott of the ice cream maker.
“Looks like I’ll be eating Jenni’s ice cream moving forward,” tweeted one Twitter user.
“Having trouble shedding those #COVID lockdown pounds, so it’s just as well I cease all consumption of Ben & Jerry’s ice creams,” another angry Twitter user commented.
Cohen and Greenfield are no longer involved in the day-to-day operation of the company, which is a subsidiary of multinational giant Unilever.
The Post has sought comment from Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever.
Since the start of the invasion more than a year ago, the Biden administration has sent a total of $76.8 billion to Ukraine — most than half of which has come in the form of military assistance, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ben & Jerry’s is no stranger to political controversy.
In 2021, the ice cream maker announced it would no longer sell its products in the Israeli-occupied West Bank — citing alleged human rights violations against the Palestinian residents of those territories.
Unilever overruled the decision and sold the Israeli arm of Ben & Jerry’s to a local licensee — prompting the Vermont-based ice cream company to file suit against its corporate parent.
The lawsuit was eventually settled. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Cohen, a Vermont resident, is a known supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the progressive who mounted an upstart candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.
Sanders and the progressive wing of the Democrats have been in virtual lock-step with the party leadership in supporting the Biden administration’s Ukraine policies.
But the Republican Party has been split into two camps.
The pro-Ukraine camp is headed by old-guard conservatives such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).
They’re opposed within the GOP by a vocal minority in the “MAGA wing” of the party that includes the likes of Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is said to be considering a run for president in 2024, recently said the US should avoid “becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia.”
In the year since the invasion began, Ukrainian forces have rolled back some of Russia’s gains.
But the Russian military has continued bombarding Ukrainian towns and cities in an effort to target civilian infrastructure.
Recent figures released by the United Nations indicate that at least 21,000 Ukrainian civilians have died at the hands of invading Russian forces.
The number of Russian soldiers either killed or missing since the invasion began is estimated to be somewhere between 60,000 and 70,000.
Ukraine is believed to have lost at least 100,000 soldiers.
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