Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with the CEO of Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever, following the ice cream producer’s announcement Monday that it will boycott Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria.
On Tuesday morning, Bennett and Unilever CEO Alan Jope spoke over the phone about Ben & Jerry’s boycott, with the Israeli premier telling Jope that Israel views the boycott as a clear anti-Israel step.
“As far as the State of Israel is concerned, this move will have serious repercussions, both legal and otherwise, and Israel will act aggressively against any effort to boycott its citizens,” Bennett told Jope.
The call comes after Israel’s ambassador to the United States urged the governors of 35 states to activate their respective states’ anti-BDS laws against Ben & Jerry’s.
“In addition to the great moral difficulties that derive from such a boycott, Ben & Jerry’s announced policy seems to also trigger potential legal ramifications, based on laws legislated by over 35 States, including your state, meant to counter these types of hate driven boycotts,” Ambassador Gilad Erdan wrote to the governors.
On Monday, Ben & Jerry’s issued a statement saying that it will no longer sell its products in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory”.
"We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). We also hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners," the statement said.
"We have a longstanding partnership with our licensee, who manufactures Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel and distributes it in the region. 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.”