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Opinion State Department Says It ‘Firmly Rejects’ BDS Movement amid Ben & Jerry’s Israel Withdrawal

05:14  21 july  2021
05:14  21 july  2021 Source:   nationalreview.com

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Although the partial boycott by Ben & Jerry ’ s is not expected to harm Israel economically, the company’s decision and Israel ’s countermoves are resurfacing thorny questions about the West Bank, which Israel has controlled for decades but never officially annexed. The Israeli government immediately rejected any such distinction between its internationally recognized borders and the occupied territories it conquered in the 1967 Six-Day War. “There are many ice cream brands but only one Jewish state . Ben & Jerry ’ s has decided to brand itself as the anti- Israel ice cream,” said Israeli

Ben & Jerry ' s said it will stop selling its ice cream in the Israeli -occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. On Monday, the Vermont-based company said sales in territories sought by Palestinians are 'inconsistent with our values'. The Israeli government says the BDS movement masks a deeper aim of delegitimizing or even destroying the entire country. The Yesha Council, an umbrella group representing the roughly 500,000 Israelis living in West Bank settlements, said 'there's no need to buy products from companies that boycott hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens because of the place

In a press briefing Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the Biden administration “firmly rejects” the Boycott Divestment Sanctions Movement amid Ben & Jerry’s corporate decision to discontinue ice-cream sales in ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory,’ by which it meant the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

a person sitting at a table in a restaurant: Ben & Jerry's shop in London, England, October 5, 2020. © Hannah McKay/Reuters Ben & Jerry's shop in London, England, October 5, 2020.

Price said that while the administration will not react to the actions of a private company, “we firmly reject the BDS movement, which unfairly singles out Israel.”

The BDS global campaign seeks to sever business ties with the Jewish state through boycotts, divestment, and sanctions as a means of non-violent coercion to end the ‘Israeli apartheid regime’ and its alleged illegal settlements, as well as to grant return to Palestinian refugees to their ancestral homes on the Israeli territory.

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Israel 's ambassador to the United States contacted several state governors, urging them to enact anti- boycott laws against the ice cream brand. US State Department spokesperson Ned Price avoided giving a direct statement on the issue. Still, he repeated the US government's line against the Boycott Unilever acquired Ben & Jerry ' s in 2000. Under the deal, the ice cream brand maintained a relatively high amount of autonomy in comparison to other subsidiaries. The company has its own independent board and the freedom to pursue its own social corporate mission and brand integrity.

Ben & Jerry ’ s said in a statement on Monday that it had informed its longstanding licensee – responsible for manufacturing and distributing the ice cream in Israel – that it will not renew the licence agreement when it expires at the end of 2022. Bennett’s office said in a statement that he spoke with Unilever He called the Ben & Jerry ’ s decision to not extend its licence “the biggest accomplishment” of the BDS movement that advocates boycotts , divestment and sanctions of Israeli institutions and businesses in what it says is a non-violent campaign against Israeli abuses against Palestinians.

“While the Biden-Harris administration will fully and always respect the First Amendment rights of our citizens, of the American people, the United States will be a strong partner in fighting efforts around the world that potentially seek to delegitimize Israel and will work tirelessly to support Israel’s further integration into the international community,” he added.

Price’s comments come after the Vermont-headquartered and historically progressive Ice cream brand announced Monday it is cancelling a licensing agreement that had established a factory which has produced and distributed in Israel since the 1980s.

“We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT),” the company wrote in a statement. “We also hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners.” The company clarified that it will keep its presence in Israel but “through a different arrangement,” which it has not yet explained.

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Since Ben & Jerry ’ s announced their plans Monday to boycott “Occupied Palestinian Territory” when its local franchise’s license runs out in December 2022, several supermarket chains that have also announced their plans to start pulling the ice cream company’s products off its shelves in New York, according to World Israel News. Seasons, an upscale kosher supermarket chain located in New York and New Jersey, sent a message to customers Monday. They said , “Seasons has removed all Ben and Jerry ’ s products from all its stores as a result of the ice cream maker’s decision to cease sales in

(AP) -- Israel ’s prime minister vowed Tuesday to “act aggressively” against the decision by Ben & Jerry ’ s to stop selling its ice cream in Israeli -occupied territories, 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.

An activist organization named Vermonters for Justice in Palestine teamed up with Decolonize Burlington, a group with a related mission, to orchestrate a boycott against Ben & Jerry’s over its commercial connection to the Israeli market. The coalition pressured the company to terminate its contract with Israeli manufacturers.

In the past, the household favorite has been outspoken on a number of hot-button social-justice issues such as refugee rights, climate change, and racial inequality. It vocally supported Black Lives Matter and shared its outrage on social media over the shootings of African Americans by police in the last year.

“If Ben & Jerry’s wants to profit off of anti-racist messaging, they need to be consistent,” Decolonize Burlington commenced in a May 19 Instagram post, according to the Burlington Free Press. “The BLM movement has publicly supported the Palestinian cause. It’s time for Ben & Jerry’s to divest from their holdings in Israel.”

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usr: 1
This is interesting!