Ben & Jerry’s to boycott West Bank settlements, east Jerusalem


Well-known ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s announced on Monday its plan to boycott West Bank settlements and Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, by refusing to allow its products to be sold in those areas. 

“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 stated in a notice it posted on its website.

The move gives a boost to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has targeted the Vermont-based American company for the last decade.

The group Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine had been particularly active on the issue.

The ice cream company, known for taking a stand on social justice issues, clarified that it was not boycotting Israel, just the “occupied Palestinian territories.”

It said that it would maintain its sales relationship with areas of Israel within the pre-1967 borders.

“Although Ben & Jerry’s will no longer be sold in the OPT, we will stay in Israel through a different arrangement. We will share an update on this as soon as we’re ready,” the company explained.

The boycott language Ben & Jerry’s used was vague in that it referenced the “occupied Palestinian territories” and did not mention the words “settlements” or “east Jerusalem,” but the assumption can be made that these are the territories being referred to. 

Ben & Jerry’s stated: “We also hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners. 

“We have a longstanding partnership with our licensee, who manufactures Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel and distributes it in the region. 

“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.

One resident of the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement who did not want to be named said he was disappointed by the announcement, but added that it wouldn’t cause him to boycott Ben & Jerry’s in return.

“It’s the best ice cream you can get in stores here by far,” he said. “I’ll just buy my New York Chunk Fudge in Jerusalem and smuggle it back home passed all the checkpoints.”

Read More:Ben & Jerry’s to boycott West Bank settlements, east Jerusalem

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