Ben & Jerry’s said it will no longer sell its ice cream to Israeli-occupied territories, which has instantly added the ice cream company into a contentious political battle.
- “We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” Ben & Jerry’s said in a statement.
- “We have a long-standing partnership with our licensee, who manufactures Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel and distributes it in the region,” Ben & Jerry’s said in a statement. “We have been working to change this, and so we have informed our licensee that we will not renew the license agreement when it expires at the end of next year.”
Ben & Jerry’s said it would not boycott Israel as a whole. Instead, it will stay in the country but withdraw from markets in the West Bank.
Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the opposition leader in Israel, slammed the decision on Twitter.
- “Now we Israelis know which ice cream NOT to buy,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement approved the measure in a tweet.
- “Following years of #BDS campaigns @benandjerrys has announced it will end sales of its ice cream in Israel’s illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land. We warmly welcome their decision but call on Ben & Jerry’s to end all operations in apartheid Israel.”
Following years of #BDS campaigns @benandjerrys has announced it will end sales of its ice cream in Israel's illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land.— BDS movement (@BDSmovement) July 19, 2021
We warmly welcome their decision but call on Ben & Jerry's to end all operations in apartheid Israel.#BDSsuccess pic.twitter.com/0n1AjnPFaA
Ben & Jerry’s has a history of getting involved in political issues. For example, the company has “embraced the Black Lives Matter and criminal justice reform movements also appeared to offer support to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement,” according to The New York Times.
- The company will look to “apply economic and political pressure on Israel on behalf of the Palestinians,” The New York Times reports.