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World Israel warns Ben & Jerry's owner over sales ban

19:26  20 july  2021
19:26  20 july  2021 Source:   bbc.com

The United Arab Emirates inaugurate their first Embassy in Israel

 The United Arab Emirates inaugurate their first Embassy in Israel © Ariel Schalit, AP Photo Israeli President Isaac Herzog and the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates in Israel, Mohamed Al Khaja, at the opening ceremony of the new Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, July 14, 2021.

Israel's prime minister will take "strong action" against boycotts, after Ben & Jerry's decided to stop selling ice cream in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

An Israeli franchisee manufactures Ben & Jerry's ice cream in Israel and distributes it © Reuters An Israeli franchisee manufactures Ben & Jerry's ice cream in Israel and distributes it

Naftali Bennett warned the US firm's parent company, Unilever, that there would be legal and other consequences.

Ben & Jerry's said on Monday that the sale of its products in the West Bank and East Jerusalem was "inconsistent with our values".

Palestinian activists praised the move.

More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel's occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war.

Ben & Jerry’s to stop sales in occupied Palestinian territories

  Ben & Jerry’s to stop sales in occupied Palestinian territories The Vermont-based ice cream maker says it recognises ‘the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners’.Israeli settlements in occupied territory are widely seen by the international community as illegal and obstacles to peace.

Most of the international community considers the settlements illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

The BBC's Tom Bateman in Jerusalem says Ben & Jerry's is widely popular in Israel, its ice cream coming in special flavours to mark Jewish festivals or national events.

It is also sold in Israeli settlements - something that has seen activists in the US put pressure on the company, which known for its progressive views.

Announcing its decision to end sales "in the Occupied Palestinian Territory", Ben & Jerry's said it recognised "the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners".


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The company said its longstanding partnership with its Israeli franchisee would expire at the end of 2022, and that it would "stay in Israel through a different arrangement".

rocket attack from Lebanon on Israel

 rocket attack from Lebanon on Israel Jerusalem. According to the Israeli military, two missiles from Lebanon have been fired towards Israel. One of the missiles has been intercepted, the other on the uninhabited area on the Israeli side of the border. © Yousef Mohammed missiles are fired in the Gaza Strip towards Israel (symbol image). This informed the army on late Monday evening. According to the armed forces, there was no damage or injured initially. In response, the military has reacted with artillery fire.

Our correspondent says many Palestinians support such trade boycotts, but they are viewed with outrage by Israel's government and many Israelis.

  • The Israel-Palestinian conflict explained

Mr Bennett said he had spoken to Unilever CEO Alan Jope about the "clearly anti-Israel step" taken by the UK-based consumer goods giant's subsidiary.

"This is an action that has severe consequences, including legal, and [Israel] will take strong action against any boycott directed against its citizens."

Unilever said the decision was taken by Ben & Jerry's independent board, and that it remained "fully committed" to maintaining a presence in Israel.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called Ben & Jerry's move a "disgraceful capitulation" to anti-Semitism and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls for a complete boycott of Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.

He said he would ask the 35 US states that had passed anti-BDS laws to enforce them against the company.

BDS called Ben & Jerry's decision "a decisive step towards ending the company's complicity in Israel's occupation and violation of Palestinian rights".

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This is interesting!