Architect of Ben & Jerry’s Israel Boycott Accused of ‘Self-Dealing’ by Legal Watchdog
The head of Ben & Jerry’s board of directors and a leading force behind the ice cream giant’s boycott of the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem has been charged by a watchdog group with “self-dealing,” after $100,000 in company donations were reportedly granted to an NGO of which she is the only paid employee.
Anuradha Mittal, chair of the Ben & Jerry’s board, is also executive director of the Oakland Institute, a left-wing think tank dealing with land reform, the New York Post reported.
According to a complaint by the right-leaning National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), between 2017-2018, the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation gave $104,000 in grants to the Oakland Institute. During the same period, Mittal was paid $156,000 for her work with the Institute.
The Post reported that the Institute used part of the Ben & Jerry’s grant to fund projects including one it described as “a bold multimedia project on land rights to mark 50 years since the Six-Day War and Israel’s occupation,” highlighting “marginalization and struggle.”
Grants also went to the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, which received $3,000 from the Foundation, and which has lost EU funding due to its refusal to pledge that none of its funds will go to terrorist groups.
Mittal’s possible malfeasance was alleged by the Virginia-based NLPC based on IRS records.
The complaint made by the Center states, “It is our contention that this is a possible violation of self-dealing as Mittal is considered a disqualified person under IRS rules.”
Mittal has given no direct comment about the complaint, but has said that “false accusations” have been made about the Oakland Institute and the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation.