Social activists and ice cream moguls Ben & Jerry’s announced their plans to boycott Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, or as they call it, “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),” was the message posted on their website. It will continue to sell it’s ice cream in Israel.
The BDS (boycott, divest, sanction) movement claimed the move as a big victory for their campaign. The group has been targeting Ben & Jerry’s for over a decade, the Jerusalem Post reported. Ben & Jerry’s started in Vermont but is now owned by the giant Unilever Corporation.
“Although Ben & Jerry’s will no longer be sold in the OPT, we will stay in Israel through a different arrangement,” it said. “We will share an update on this as soon as we’re ready.”
But the move was rejected by Ben & Jerry’s Israel which said it will continue to sell all over Israel.
“We call on the Israeli government and the consumers not to allow Israel to be boycotted,” Ben & Jerry’s Israel announced on Twitter.
“This is an unprecedented move by Unilever,” the Israeli licensee said, adding that ice cream and politics should not be mixed.
As a result, the global entity will not renew its license with the Israeli licensee.
Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said “There are many ice cream brands, but only one Jewish state,” Bennett said. “Ben & Jerry’s has decided to brand itself as the anti-Israel ice cream,” he added. “This decision is morally wrong and I believe that it will become clear that it is also commercially wrong. The boycott against Israel – a democracy surrounded by islands of terrorism – reflects a total loss of way,” Bennett said. “The boycott does not work and will not work, and we will fight it with full force.”