While consumer goods giant Unilever has effectively ended its Ben & Jerry’s boycott of Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria, the ice cream maker has come out publicly to condemn its own parent company over the new arrangement.
On Wednesday, the UK-based company Unilever, which owns Ben & Jerry’s, announced that it had reached a deal to sell the rights to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel, circumventing its own boycott of Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria.
Under the new arrangement, Unilever has sold its Ben & Jerry’s business interests in Israel to Avi Zinger, the owner of American Quality Products Ltd, the current Israel-based licensee.
The ice cream will be sold exclusively under Ben & Jerry’s Hebrew and Arabic names in Israel – including Judea and Samaria.
The change distances Unilever from sales of the ice cream in Israel, reducing its authority to make operation decisions for the brand in Israel.
While Israeli leaders lauded the decision, Ben & Jerry’s condemned the move, declaring Judea and Samaria “Occupied Palestinian Territory”.
“We are aware of the Unilever announcement. While our parent company has taken this decision, we do not agree with it,” the company said late Wednesday.
“Unilever's arrangement means Ben & Jerry's in Israel will be owned and operated by AQP. Our company will no longer profit from Ben & Jerry's in Israel. We continue to believe it is inconsistent with Ben & Jerry's values for our ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”