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Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream To Stopping Sales in Parts of Israel

Ben & Jerry’s announced in a July 19 statement that they will no longer be selling ice cream in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

The ice cream company’s statement read, “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.” They added that they “will stay in Israel through a different arrangement. We will share an update on this as soon as we’re ready.” Prior to their statement, Ben & Jerry’s had been under pressure by pro-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) organizations to divest their holdings from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Unilever, which owns Ben & Jerry’s, said in a statement, “We remain fully committed to our presence in Israel, where we have invested in our people, brands and business for several decades.” They also recognize “the right of the brand and its independent Board to take decisions about its social mission. We also welcome the fact that Ben & Jerry’s will stay in Israel.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid denounced Ben & Jerry’s decision as “a disgraceful capitulation to antisemitism, to BDS, to all that is evil in the anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish discourse. We won’t be silent.” He added that the Israeli government will be pushing for anti-BDS laws to be enforced in the United States against Ben & Jerry’s.

Various Jewish and pro-Israel Twitter users criticized Ben & Jerry’s over their July 19 announcement.

Jerusalem Post Senior Contributing Editor Lahav Harkov noted in a tweet that “some of the replies” to Ben & Jerry’s tweet linking to their announcement “are complaining that Ben and Jerry will continue its operations in Israel at all, which gives away the game: The boycotts aren’t about the ‘occupation,’ they’re about denying Jews self-determination.”