Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is very popular in Israel and Palestine. The company was founded in the US state of Vermont in 1978 and is now owned by the Unilever consumer goods chain.
Even though it was founded in the US, a country that is considered friendly with Israel, this company does not hesitate to apply humanitarian principles in its sales practices.
Ben & Jerry’s, as previously reported by the Associated Press news agency, said its ice cream sales in the occupied West Bank, which the Palestinians demand as their future state, were inconsistent with its values.
The announcement is one of the loudest and most prominent rebukes from a well-known company regarding Israel’s policy of placing its citizens in occupied territories, which Israel captured through war.
According to a statement posted on the company’s website, Ben & Jerry’s informed the former licensee responsible for producing and distributing ice cream in Israel that the company will not renew the license agreement when it expires at the end of next year.
Israeli officials and residents reacted angrily to the announcement by ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s after it said it would stop selling its products in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and fight over east Jerusalem.
Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, which represents settlements in the northern West Bank, called on customers to boycott Unilever.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called the decision a shameful surrender to anti-Jews
Many companies are lenient with political policies, fearing losing customers, but the ice cream maker is taking the opposite approach, often seen as supporting progressive efforts. [my/jm]