CEO of Ben & Jerry’s Israel: They have been pressuring me for a year and a half

Avi Zinger, CEO of Ben & Jerry's Israel, responds to global company's decision not to sell in Judea and Samaria: I do not intend to surrender.

Elad Benari ,

Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry's
iStock

Avi Zinger, CEO of Ben & Jerry’s Israel, on Monday commented on the global Ben & Jerry’s corporation’s decision to boycott Judea and Samaria, telling Channel 12 News he has no intention of stopping the sales of the ice cream in Judea and Samaria.

"It is inconceivable that the company decides to cause harm for political reasons, and mix ice cream and politics," said Zinger.

Zinger said he had been under heavy pressure from Ben & Jerry's global corporation. "I heard about the decision more or less together with everyone," he said, "but I have been under pressure for about a year and hearing demands to stop marketing in Judea and Samaria. Of course, I have been opposed to it all along. Ever since the operation in Gaza the pressure from the company has increased."

"I did not agree to surrender to this and I am not willing to continue to surrender to it," stressed the CEO of Ben & Jerry's Israel. "I have been with them for 25 years, I brought it to Israel. I was informed two hours ago that since I am not willing to cooperate on this issue, they will not extend my agreement in year and a half," said Zinger.

He reiterated that he "does not plan and does not even intend to stop" selling the ice cream in Judea and Samaria. He noted that there is another year and a half until the end of the franchise agreement with the company, and he hopes that by then the company will change its mind.

"I very much hope that during this year and a half the government and the whole public will support us and fight against this unusual phenomenon," he said, adding that he expects Unilever, which is the owner of the global Ben & Jerry's corporation, to understand the situation. "After all, they sell in the territories. They operate here. They have factories and hundreds and thousands of workers. They cannot deny the situation."

Zinger fears people will stop buying the ice cream. "In fact, this is my main concern. People do not differentiate between the Israeli independent company and the global company. This has happened in the past when Ben & Jerry’s took controversial action and accused us of supporting Hamas."

"In the end, this is the Israeli government's war against the boycotts and the BDS - and we are caught in the middle," the CEO of the Israeli company added. "I hope that the entire public and government officials will support us, and vice versa - that they will consume more and fight the phenomenon. It starts with Ben & Jerry's and you do not know where it will end."



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