The decision comes after years of pressure from activists and listening to the concerns of ‘fans and trusted partners.’
In a brief statement, Ben & Jerry’s has announced that continuing the sale of its ice cream in occupied territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem would be ‘inconsistent with [its] values.’
Though precise details have not yet been revealed, discussions to terminate the contract with its Israel-based factory are complete.
The conclusion to end licensing arrangements for the sale of Ben & Jerry’s in OPT (Occupied Palestine Territory) will be come into effect at the end of next year.
The response, as expected for this region with a history of complex political and social conflicts, has been mixed. We’ve covered the ongoing unrest in this area at Thred – get up to date here.
The Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, called the decision ‘morally wrong’ on the basis that businesses boycotting Israel in this way reflects a ‘loss of bearings’ that ‘will not work and will be fought.’
PM Naftali shouldn’t fret so much. He (and the nation) won’t be totally without the sweet, sweet goods as Ben & Jerry’s will still distribute in mainland Israel through a different agreement, which hasn’t been fully disclosed yet.
It simply won’t sell product in OPT areas of Palestine, where Israel occupation is widely viewed as illegal.
Looking at it from a business perspective, operating in areas where land has been essentially stolen and rightfully settled Palestinians face daily oppression could allude to support for this behaviour.