Unilever, the company that owns the Ben & Jerry’s trademark issued a strong response after an Israeli NGO moved to illegally seize the trademark in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli Jerusalem Post newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The Israeli attempt followed a recent decision by the giant ice cream maker to divest from the West Bank in response to Palestinian calls for boycotting illegal Jewish settlements, which are built on occupied Palestinian land.
Last month's announcement by Ben & Jerry's to end sales of its ice cream in illegal Israeli settlements was met with some confusion. Read our latest post on where we stand & let us be clear, no company should profit off apartheid & settler-colonialism ➡️ https://t.co/MAUjCTdxqv
— BDS movement (@BDSmovement) August 17, 2021
“Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center has claimed that Ben & Jerry’s has ‘abandoned’ their trademark in the West Bank,” the Post reported.
Unilever response was swift:
“Unilever unequivocally rejects all your assertions set forth therein including that Unilever has abandoned its trademark rights for Ben & Jerry’s in what you refer to as the Judea and Samaria region of Israel,” the company said in a letter.
The statement was in response to an earlier letter sent by Shurat HaDin’s President Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.
Our brilliant legal fellow Amira Mattar writes for @thenation on what's been missing from the @benandjerrys convo: If Israel has its way, everyone's First Amendment right to protest is at stake and Israel's colonial project will continue unchallenged. https://t.co/fnyOSYCt0a
— Palestine Legal (@pal_legal) August 11, 2021
“The Shurat HaDin Law Center has now registered a commercial entity with the Israeli registry of corporations called ‘Judea and Samaria’s Ben & Jerry’s.’”
“The plan involved selling ‘Judea and Samaria’s Finest Frozen Chosen People’ complete with a portrait of Theodor Herzl, the founder of the modern Zionist movement,” the Israeli newspaper reported.
The decision by Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to divest from the occupied West Bank was welcomed by Palestinians.
Opinion: How Ben & Jerry's has exposed Israel's anti-BDS strategy, comments Ramzy Baroud https://t.co/kWwRbjORNJ
— Middle East Monitor (@MiddleEastMnt) July 28, 2021
“Ben & Jerry’s decision to suspend its operations in the West Bank is proving critical to the Palestinian efforts aimed at holding Israel accountable for its military occupation, apartheid and war crimes,” Ramzy Baroud wrote in a recent commentary.
“By responding to the Palestinian call to boycott apartheid Israel, the ice cream giant has delivered a blow to Tel Aviv’s attempts to criminalize and, ultimately, end the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign,” Baroud added.
(The Palestine Chronicle)