Following Ben & Jerry’s Decision to Divest, Israeli PM Warns of ‘Severe Consequences’

Israeli far-right politician Naftali Bennett. (Photo: via Wikimedia Commons)

Israel warned of ‘severe consequences’ following Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop selling ice cream in the occupied territories, and urged US states to invoke anti-boycott laws, reports Reuters.

Monday’s announcement followed pro-Palestinian pressure on the Vermont-based company over its business in Israel and Jewish settlements in the West Bank handled since 1987 through a licensee partner, Ben & Jerry’s Israel.

Ben & Jerry’s said it would not renew the license when it expires at the end of next year. It said it would stay in Israel under a different arrangement, without sales in the West Bank, among areas where Palestinians seek statehood.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office said in a statement that he had complained to Unilever Chief Executive Alan Jope about the “glaring anti-Israel measure”.

“From Israel’s standpoint, this action has severe consequences, legal and otherwise, and it will move aggressively against any boycott measure targeting civilians,” Bennett told Jope in a phone conversation, according to the premier’s office.

Unilever did not immediately respond.

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)

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)

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