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Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Suspending Sales In West Bank Will Have 'repercussions': Israel

Israeli PM has warned the Unilever Plc CEO that Ben & Jerry halting the sales in Jewish West Bank settlements and other areas will have "serious repercussions.”


IMAGE: AP/Twitter

Israeli Prime Minister Neftali Bennett has warned the Unilever Plc Chief Executive Officer Alan Jope that Ben & Jerry's decision to halt the sales in Jewish West Bank settlements and other areas of east Jerusalem will have "serious repercussions, legal and otherwise." As per the Bloomberg report, Bennett has said that the Unilever ice cream brand had taken a “blatantly anti-Israel step” after the company announced on July 19 that it would end sales of the ice cream in the ‘occupied’ Palestinian territory. 

However, denouncing the move, Bennett said that the Israeli government would act aggressively against any boycott which is aimed at its citizens. The territories, which are now claimed by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war are also considered as the core of the future state by Palestinians. Ben & Jerry’s was founded in Vermont in 1978 and has a history of taking public action over what it considers to be socially progressive causes including same-sex marriage and the Black Lives Matter movement. 

‘We believe it is inconsistent’

On July 19, Ben & Jerry’s said in a statement, “We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). 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."

“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,” it added. However, as per the report, there are signs that Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop its sales in the region has challenged its relations with its parent company. As per NBC News, Anuradha Mittal, the chair of the ice cream maker's board of directors, said the statement Unilever released on its behalf stating that Ben & Jerry’s would stay in Israel, was not approved by the panel overseen by her as it normally should’ve been.


IMAGE: AP/Twitter

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