Everything but the … Settlements: Ben & Jerry’s to Stop Selling in West Bank
The US-based ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s announced Monday that after 2022 its products would no longer be sold in the “occupied Palestinian territory.”
“We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT),” the company said in a statement.
Ben & Jerry’s said it would not renew its license with local distributor Ben & Jerry’s Israel, which manufactures the ice cream at two locations, Yavne and Be’er Tuvia, both within Israel’s pre-1967 borders, but that the ice cream would still be available throughout Israel – though not in the Israeli settlements – “through a different arrangement.”
Ben & Jerry’s Israel said the international ice cream company made its decision after the local company refused to stop distributing its products beyond the Green Line. “The global Ben & Jerry’s decided not to renew the agreement with us in about a year and a half because we have rejected their demand to stop selling all over Israel” – meaning not only within the pre-1967 lines but also in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement praised the American ice cream giant for what it said was “a decisive step towards ending the company’s complicity in Israel’s occupation and violations of Palestinian rights” but called on the company to not only stop selling in the West Bank but also in Israel, itself.
Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett responded, “There are many ice cream brands, but only one Jewish state.” He called the company’s decision “morally wrong” and predicted that it would prove to be “commercially wrong,” as well.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said the boycott was “a shameful capitulation to anti-Semitism, BDS, and everything bad in the anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish discourse.”