At the risk of losing customers, the Vermont ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry’s has, once again, decided to go political.
Breitbart reports Ben & Jerry’s as announcing that it will stop selling its ice cream to those located in so-called “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” that is, Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
“Inconsistent with our values”
The ice cream maker made the announcement on Monday in a statement that it posted on its website.
“We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT),” the statement reads. “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,” the statement continues. “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.”
The statement concludes with, “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.”
As would be expected, the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement celebrated Ben & Jerry’s decision.
“Following years of #BDS campaigns [Ben & Jerry’s] has announced it will end sales of its ice cream in Israel’s illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land,” BDS wrote. “We warmly welcome their decision but call on Ben & Jerry’s to end all operations in apartheid Israel.”
Many, however, including the licensee referred to by Ben & Jerry’s, have condemned the move. That licensee, according to Breitbart, told Ben & Jerry’s to “keep ice cream out of politics” and it told the people of Israel to buy locally-made ice cream instead.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said:
Ben & Jerry’s decided to brand itself as anti-Israel ice cream. This is a moral mistake and I believe it will turn out to be a business mistake as well. The boycott against Israel… reflects that they have totally lost their way. The boycott doesn’t work and won’t work and we will fight it with all our might.
And, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu wrote, “Now we Israelis know which ice cream NOT to buy.”
This is, at least, Ben & Jerry’s second foray into politics over the past year. Previously, the company came out in favor of the far-left’s “Defund the Police” movement.