Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch via .)
The ice cream firm Ben & Jerry’s will stop selling its products in Israeli-occupied Palestine, in a gesture that involves listening to the demands of the BDS campaign (boycott, divestment, sanctions) that seeks to raise awareness of companies, artists or universities before the settlements and the illegal military presence in the area.
The company, whose motto is “peace, love, & ice cream”, that is, “peace, love and ice cream”, has issued a statement in which it explains that it believes “incompatible with its values” that its products are sold “as Occupied Territories of Palestine ”. “We also listen and acknowledge the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners,” they add.
“We have a long-standing partnership with our partner, who makes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel and distributes it in the region. We have been working to change that, so we have informed our partner that we will not renew the license agreement when it expires at the end of next year ”, he deepens.
“Although Ben & Jerry’s will no longer be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, we will stay in Israel through a different arrangement. We will share an update on this situation as soon as we are ready, ”they conclude.
The measure, widely applauded on social media by Palestinian citizens, has nevertheless been classified as “immoral and discriminatory” by the Israeli Foreign Ministry. It constitutes, in his view, a surrender to the constant pressure of pro-Palestinian groups, which for Tel Aviv are “anti-Semitic”. “It hurts both Israelis and Palestinians and encourages extremist groups that use intimidation tactics. Not only does this decision not promote peace or a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it also strengthens those who oppose reconciliation between the two nations and call for the destruction of the State of Israel, ”the ministry said in its statement. which adds that Unilever, which owns the chain, has allowed the company to “immorally boycott Israel.”
Words similar to those of the Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, who has spoken of “morally wrong decision.” His party is in favor of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where according to the UN more than 600,000 people reside illegally.
“The boycott of Israel, a democracy surrounded by terrorist islands, reflects a total loss of direction. The boycott is not working and it will not work and we will fight it with all our might, ”Bennett wrote on his Twitter account.
The ice cream company is standing out for defending human rights causes on its social networks, with fights over social justice, homophobia or climate change, among others.
Israel is hurt by the decision because Ben & Jerry’s is a world-renowned brand and its decision is a major BDS success. It is a global peaceful movement for the defense of human rights, promoted by more than 200 Palestinian and pro-Palestinian organizations, which aims to use non-violent means to pressure the government of Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinian territories, illegal according to international law and United Nations resolutions.
It also demands that equal rights be granted to the Palestinians (Israel has declared itself a “racist” state by approving the Law of the Jewish State in 2018, they specify), a country of its own for the Palestinians or the return of their refugees.
Its areas of action are five: political, economic, academic, sports and cultural. In Spain, for example, their fight is promoted by BDS Madrid or RESCOP, for example.
This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.