News|Boycott Divest and Sanctions
Israel will ‘act aggressively’ over Ben & Jerry’s ban, PM says
Bennett calls move by company to stop selling its ice cream in occupied Palestinian territories an ‘anti-Israel step’.
Ben & Jerry's announced it will stop selling its ice cream in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, saying its sale 'is inconsistent with our values' [Ahmad Gharabli /AFP]
20 Jul 2021
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the head of Unilever on Tuesday that Israel will “act aggressively” against Ben & Jerry’s over the subsidiary’s decision to stop selling its ice cream in the Israeli-occupied territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
British consumer goods conglomerate Unilever acquired the Vermont-based ice cream company in 2000. Ben & Jerry’s said in a statement on Monday that it had informed its longstanding licensee – responsible for manufacturing and distributing the ice cream in Israel – that it will not renew the licence agreement when it expires at the end of 2022.
US curbs on Israel boycotts ‘an attack’ on dissent, advocates say
US to label Israel boycott movement as ‘anti-Semitic’: Pompeo
US: Muslim groups to boycott Biden Eid event over Israel support
Bennett’s office said in a statement that he spoke with Unilever CEO Alan Jope about what he called Ben & Jerry’s “clearly anti-Israel step,” adding that the move would have “serious consequences, legal and otherwise, and that it will act aggressively against all boycott actions directed against its citizens”.
The Ben & Jerry’s announcement was one of the highest-profile corporate rebukes of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, territories Israel captured in the 1967 war. Most of the international community considers these settlements illegal under international law and an impediment to peace with the Palestinians.
I think there is an important lesson in Israel’s maximalist off the rails response to Ben & Jerry’s settlement boycott: Israeli officials and their supporters will call you an anti-Semite even for taking mild 2-states based positions, so you might as well say what you believe.
— Abraham Gutman 🔥 אברהם גוטמן (@abgutman) July 19, 2021
Approximately 700,000 Israelis now live in settlements – about 500,000 in the occupied West Bank and 200,000 in East Jerusalem. Israel considers the entirety of Jerusalem its capital, while East Jerusalem is seen as the capital of a future Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution.
Ben & Jerry’s said in its announcement that the sale of its ice cream in territories sought by the Palestinians for an independent state was “inconsistent with our values”.
The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement said on Monday it “warmly welcomes” Ben & Jerry’s decision but called on the company to “end all operations in apartheid Israel”.
“We hope Ben and Jerry’s has understood that, in harmony with its social justice commitments, there can be no business as usual in apartheid Israel,” BDS said in a statement.
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.​#BDSsuccess​
— BDS movement (@BDSmovement) July 19, 2021
Israel’s foreign ministry criticised the decision on Monday as “a surrender to ongoing and aggressive pressure from extreme anti-Israel groups” and said the company was cooperating with “economic terrorism”.
Avi Zinger, CEO and licensee of Ben & Jerry’s Israel, told public broadcaster Kan on Tuesday that the parent company had long pressured him to cease distribution in the Israeli occupied territories, but he refused because it would violate Israeli law.
He called the Ben & Jerry’s decision to not extend its licence “the biggest accomplishment” of the BDS movement that advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions of Israeli institutions and businesses in what it says is a non-violent campaign against Israeli abuses against Palestinians.
There is no good reason why Israel should not be under sanctions
Sanctions are used to punish those who brazenly violate international law. So why is Israel not sanctioned yet?
26 Jun 2021
Ben & Jerry’s to stop sales in occupied Palestinian territories
The Vermont-based ice cream maker says it recognises ‘the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners’.
19 Jul 2021
As Israel bombards Gaza, BDS urges renewed economic pressure
BDS is urging consumers to vote with their wallets and economically pressure Israel to end its occupation of Palestine.
14 May 2021
Tesla to face racism allegations from Black worker in open court
Ex-Catalonia regional chief Puigdemont released from Italian jail
Rights groups demand release of DR Congo journalist
In Mozambique, Kagame says Rwandan troops’ presence to continue
Indian photographer in video stomps on man shot by Assam police
Oldest human footprints in North America found in New Mexico
Sabina Nessa: London murder reignites fears over women’s safety
Taliban divisions deepen as hardliners seek spoils of war
Our Channels
Our Network
Follow Al Jazeera English:
© 2021 Al Jazeera Media Network