Ben & Jerry’s to stop selling ice cream in the occupied Palestinian territories
But the brand has come under intense scrutiny for its dealings in Israel in recent years as tensions in the region have erupted.
Fans have criticized the company for doing business in Israel – particularly in West Bank settlements, which are considered illegal under international law – arguing that it does not match Ben & Jerry’s liberal image.
But on Monday, Ben & Jerry’s changed their mind, claiming to have heard and acknowledged the concerns shared by their fans and partners.
Ben & Jerry’s said it has informed its licensee in Israel that its agreement will not be renewed when it expires at the end of 2022. After that date, Ben & Jerry’s will no longer be sold in the Palestinian territories. The company’s ice cream, however, will continue to be sold in Israel, “through a different arrangement,” Ben & Jerry’s said, noting that it will inform customers of these details in the future.
Israeli politicians have castigated the ice cream brand’s decision. The country’s new prime minister, Naftali Bennett, said Ben & Jerry’s had decided to present themselves as “anti-Israel ice cream”.
“Your ice cream is not to our liking,” she said. “We’ll get by without you.”