Quantcast

Israel Vows to ‘Act Aggressively’ Against Ben & Jerry’s

'The de-facto adoption of anti-Semitic practices and advancement of the de-legitimization of the Jewish state...'

(Headline USA) Israel’s prime minister vowed Tuesday to “act aggressively” against the decision by Ben & Jerry’s to stop selling its ice cream in Israeli territories it says are “occupied,” as the country’s ambassador to the U.S. urged dozens of state governors to punish the company under anti-boycott laws.

The strong reaction reflected concerns in Israel that the ice cream maker’s decision could lead other companies to follow suit. It also appeared to set the stage for a protracted public relations and legal battle.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s office said he spoke with Alan Jope, chief executive of Ben & Jerry’s parent company Unilever, and raised concern about what he called a “clearly anti-Israel step.” He said the move would have “serious consequences, legal and otherwise,” and Israel “will act aggressively against all boycott actions directed against its citizens.”

In Washington, State Department spokesman Ned Price declined to comment directly on the company’s decision. But he said the U.S. rejects the boycott movement against Israel, saying it “unfairly singles out” the country.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations and the United States, Gilad Erdan, sent letters to 35 governors whose states have laws against boycotting Israel asking that they consider speaking out against Ben & Jerry’s decision “and taking any other relevant steps, including in relation to your state laws and the commercial dealings between Ben & Jerry’s and your state.”

Erdan said Israel views the company’s decision as “the de-facto adoption of anti-Semitic practices and advancement of the de-legitimization of the Jewish state and the dehumanization of the Jewish people.”

“As Arab nations cancel their decades-long boycott of the Jewish state and sign peace agreements with Israel, and cultural and economic cooperation in our region is growing, American companies with radical ideological agendas cannot be allowed to go against the policy of the United States and act against normalization and peace,” Erdan wrote. “Moreover, the past has proven that the citizens of Israel are never the only ones who suffer from such boycotts as these significantly harm Palestinians as well.”

In Monday’s announcement, Ben & Jerry’s said it would stop selling ice cream in the “occupied” West Bank and contested east Jerusalem. The company, known for its social activism, said such sales were “inconsistent with our values.”

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

The statement was one of the strongest rebukes by a high-profile company of Israel’s settlement policies in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, which it has controlled for more than a half-century after capturing them in the 1967 Mideast war.

The Palestinians, with some international support but no historical legitimacy, claim both areas as parts of a future independent state. There has never been a nation of “Palestine” nor a people group, until an identity for Arabs in the territory was fabricated in the 1960s.

Israel annexed east Jerusalem after the 1967 war and considers the entire city its undivided capital. It says the West Bank is disputed territory and says its final status should be resolved in negotiations.

In its statement, Ben & Jerry’s said it had informed its longtime Israeli partner that it will not renew its license agreement when it expires at the end of 2022.

While noting it would not serve Israeli-occupied areas, it said it would continue to provide ice cream in Israel “through a different arrangement.” A number of companies, most notably beverage company SodaStream, have closed factories in the occupied West Bank but few have targeted Israeli consumers living there.

On the global stage, Israel does not differentiate between settlements and the rest of the country. When home-rental company Airbnb announced in 2018 that it would no longer list properties in West Bank settlements, Israel harshly condemned the move as part of a broader Palestinian-led boycott movement against Israel.

Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.

- Advertisement -

TRENDING NOW

WHERE’S HIPPA? State to Text Pennsylvanians Who Missed 2nd COVID-19 Shot

(Christen Smith, The Center Square) In an effort to boost the statewide COVID-19 vaccination rate, the Pennsylvania Department of Health said residents who missed their...

‘1619 Project’, Touted as ‘Racial Reckoning’, Ignores Democrat Party Racism

(Mark Hemingway, RealClearInvestigations) Democrats who advanced a bill in June to remove statues of white supremacists from the U.S. Capitol ignored a central fact...

Biden Plans Vax Mandate for Foreign Visitors… Except Those at Border?

(Headline USA) As illegal immigration helps drive the second major wave of the coronavirus pandemic in pro-freedom states where many remain unvaccinated, foreigners who...

Dems Concerned After Facebook Censors NYU Researchers over Ads Project

(Headline USA) Two Democrats who have been supportive of Facebook's censorship of conservative dissenters expressed their 'concern' about the company's suppression of left-wing research...

Pennsylvania Dems Demand Photo ID to Buy Ammo… But Not to Vote

Democratic lawmakers in Pennsylvania have introduced two bills to restrict and tax ammunition purchases, as well as to number and monitor each round sold,...

Whole Foods CEO: Businesses ‘Taking Political Positions’ Is a ‘Mistake’

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey on Tuesday said it is a "mistake" for businesses to express political opinions, the Epoch Times reported. "They should be...

Left Mystified as McConnell Signals Support for $1T Infrastructure Package

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had vowed to be “100% focused” on stopping President Joe Biden’s agenda. But when it comes to the pending...

JUSTICE DEPT.: Many Reentering Arizona Illegally are Repeat Violent Criminals

(Bethany Blankley, The Center Square) Many who have entered the U.S. illegally have already been convicted of killing Americans, says a report by the U.S...

Texas Congressman Says State Should Shut Down ALL Roads from Mexico Border

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, argued his home state should consider shutting down all roads that connect to Mexico, to force the Biden administration to...
- Advertisement -