BDS Victory: Ben and Jerry’s to End Operations in Illegal West Bank Settlements

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop on Washington Street in New Jersey. (Photo: Luigi Novi, Wikimedia Commons)

In another major win for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement., the ice cream US giant, Ben and Jerry’s announced Monday that it “will end sales of our ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

In a statement posted on its website, the company said: “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.”

The decision will not take immediate effect, the company said, as it must honor existing contracts, however “we will not renew the license agreement when it expires at the end of next year.”

Ben and Jerry’s, however will continue to be sold in Israel.

The company has been the subject of the boycott campaign for years, after in 2011, Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel (VTJP) began a discussion with Ben & Jerry’s in South Burlington, Vermont, concerning their long-standing contractual relationship with an Israeli franchise that manufactures ice cream in Israel and sells it in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Since 2013, thousands of individuals and 239 organizations in 20 countries, including Israel, and from the District of Columbia and the occupied Palestinian territories, called on Ben & Jerry’s to honor its Social Mission by severing its franchise’s business with Israeli settlements.

The company clearly states on its website that it believes in “using our business to make the world a better place”, including through a commitment “to honoring the rights of all people to live with liberty, security, self-esteem, and freedom of expression and protest” and “achieving equity, opportunity, and justice for communities across the globe that have been historically marginalized.”

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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