Ben & Jerry’s to stop selling ice cream in Israeli-occupied territories


Ben & Jerry’s, the ice cream supplier famous for taking a stand on burning social issues, on Monday announced it was ending sales in Israel-occupied territories, plunging into one of the most controversial debates on the international scene.

“We believe that it is incompatible with our values ​​that Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is sold in the occupied Palestinian territory,” he said in a statement.

With this, a shameless political enterprise that over the years has embraced the Black Lives Matter movements and criminal justice reform has also appeared to offer its support to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to exert economic and political pressure. on Israel on behalf of the Palestinians.

But the company stressed that it was not boycotting the country as a whole – “we will stay in Israel,” she said – simply withdrawing from West Bank markets.

The announcement was greeted with anger by many prominent Israelis, who urged people to stop stocking up on Chubby Hubby, Cherry Garcia or any of Ben and Jerry’s other iconic flavors.

“Now we Israelis know which ice cream NOT to buy” tweeted former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the opposition.

Current Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called the company’s decision “morally wrong” and said: “Ben & Jerry’s decided to present themselves as anti-Israel ice cream”.

Ben & Jerry’s declined to comment beyond its statement.

Among other objectives, the organizers of the boycott movement want Israel to end its occupation of all land captured in 1967 and dismantle the barriers that separate Israel from much of the West Bank and divide many Palestinian neighborhoods.

While the boycott promoters praised Ben & Jerry’s announcement, they immediately made it clear that it was not enough.

“We warmly welcome their decision, but call on Ben & Jerry’s to end all operations in Israeli apartheid” says a post on the Palestinian National Committee BDS Twitter account.

Ben & Jerry’s withdrawal from the occupied territories will not take effect immediately, as its current contract with the company that produces its ice cream in Israel does not expire until the end of next year. And that supplier, Ben & Jerry’s Israel, was quick to disassociate itself from the company.

“We will continue to sell throughout Israel! He said, adding: “We call on the Israeli government and all consumers: do not allow Israel to be boycotted.

In its own statement, the parent company of Vermont ice cream maker Unilever said it was “fully committed” to its presence in Israel, but recognized the right of Ben & Jerry “to make decisions regarding its mission. social ”.

On the very day of Ben & Jerry’s announcement, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the need to advance confidence-building measures between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, also spoke with Mr. Abbas.

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