The head of the multinational corporation Unilever said during an earnings call with investors that the company “remains fully committed to our business in Israel,” Reuters reported. The comments by Unilever CEO Alan Jope comes after its subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s ice cream announced that it would no longer sell its product in the so-called Occupied Palestinian Territories, once its agreement with its Israeli distributor expires in 18 months.
“This was a decision taken by Ben & Jerry’s and its independent board. …..and we always recognize the importance of that agreement,” Jope said.
Jope told the investors that Unilever has made substantial investments in the country.
Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with Jope on Tuesday. The prime minister “made it clear that he views with utmost gravity the decision by Ben & Jerry’s to boycott Israel and added that this is a subsidiary of Unilever, which has taken a clearly anti-Israel step,” according to a statement from his office. Bennett also “emphasized that from the perspective of the State of Israel, this is an action that has severe consequences, including legal, and it will take strong action against any boycott directed against its citizens.”