by Houston Keene
Ben & Jerry’s threw their support behind the Defund the Police movement last year
Vermont ice cream giant and social justice enclave Ben & Jerry’s received backlash Monday from Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, after announcing the company would no longer sell its frozen desserts in "Occupied Palestinian Territory."
The ice cream company has been vocal in the past about social justice issues and announced they will no longer be selling their desserts in "Occupied Palestinian Territory," the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
"We have a long-standing partnership with our licensee, who manufactures Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel and distributes it in the region," the company said in a Monday press release. "We have been working to change this, and so we have informed our licensee that we will not renew the license agreement when it expires at the end of next year."
"Although Ben & Jerry’s will no longer be sold in the OPT, we will stay in Israel through a different arrangement," the release concluded. "We will share an update on this as soon as we’re ready."
The announcement drew a sharp rebuke from Bennett and Netanyahu, with the current Israeli prime minister saying Ben & Jerry's "decided to brand itself as anti-Israel ice cream."
"The boycott against Israel… reflects that they have totally lost their way," Bennett added. "The boycott doesn’t work and won’t work and we will fight it with all our might."
we Israelis know which ice cream NOT to buy," Netanyahu tweeted on
Monday, including emojis of the Israeli flag and a flexing bicep.
Now we Israelis know which ice cream NOT to buy 🇮🇱💪 https://t.co/j7VNpIWX0f— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) July 19, 2021
The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement applauded the company’s move.
years of #BDS campaigns [Ben & Jerry’s] has announced it will end
sales of its ice cream in Israel's illegal settlements on stolen
Palestinian land. We warmly welcome their decision but call on Ben &
Jerry's to end all operations in apartheid Israel," the movement wrote
on Twitter, adding the hashtag "#BDSsuccess."
Following years of #BDS campaigns @benandjerrys has announced it will end sales of its ice cream in Israel's illegal settlements on stolen Palestinian land.— BDS movement (@BDSmovement) July 19, 2021
We warmly welcome their decision but call on Ben & Jerry's to end all operations in apartheid Israel.#BDSsuccess pic.twitter.com/0n1AjnPFaA
"Ben and Jerry’s, a leading socially responsible international company, is finally bringing its policy on Israel’s regime of oppression against Palestinians in line with its position on Black Lives Matter and other justice struggles," the press release accompanying the tweet read.
"We hope that Ben and Jerry’s has understood that, in harmony with its social justice commitments, there can be no business as usual with apartheid Israel," the release concluded.
Ben & Jerry’s made headlines last year when they threw their support behind the Defund the Police movement.
A spokesperson for Ben & Jerry’s declined to comment on Netanyahu’s tweet and whether or not the company supported the BDS movement, referring Fox News to their press release.