Anuradha Mittal, the board chair of Ben & Jerry’s on Tuesday denied that the company’s decision to stop selling its ice cream in Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria was anti-Semitic.
“I am proud of Ben & Jerry’s for taking a stance to end sale of its ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” tweeted Mittal.
“This action is not anti-Semitic. I am not anti-Semitic. The vile hate that has been thrown at me does [not] intimidate me. Pls work for peace – not hatred!” she added.
Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever, caused an uproar last week when it announced it would stop sales of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in what the company called the “Occupied Palestinian Territory”.
A number of supermarket chains have announced in response that they will no longer stock Ben & Jerry's products following the controversial decision. They include Glatt Express Supermarket, Seasons, Morton Williams Supermarkets, Gristede’s Supermarkets, and others.
In addition, several US states have taken action against Ben & Jerry’s. The Texas State Comptroller announced this past Thursday that the government is examining whether the Ben & Jerry's ice cream company violated the state's anti-BDS laws.
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has called on the State Board of Administration (SBA) to immediately place Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever on the Continued Examination Companies that Boycott Israel List and initiate the process to place both companies on the Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List.
On Tuesday, Unilever CEO Alan Jope informed Anti-Defamation League (ADL) chairman Jonathan Greenblatt that his company does not support the BDS movement.
Jope wrote in a letter to Greenblatt that Unilever maintains a “strong and longstanding commitment to our business in Israel” and that the company “looks forward to investing in our business in Israel long into the future.”
He called the decision a "complex matter" due to the arrangement Unilever has with the Ben & Jerry's board and the independence granted to the board "to take decisions in accordance with its social mission," but emphasized that Ben & Jerry's "will remain in Israel through a different business arrangement.”