American ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s, has decided to stop sales in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) as the occupation of the land goes against its values, a statement issued by the company said Monday.
“We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT),” the statement read. The company, however, clarified that the ice cream will continue to be sold in Israel.
In the statement, the company, which was founded by Jews, said that it has a longstanding partnership with its 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. Although Ben & Jerry’s will no longer be sold in the OPT, we will stay in Israel through a different arrangement. We will share an update on this as soon as we’re ready,” the company said in the statement.
According to a report by Russia Today, Ben & Jerry Israel criticised the announcement, calling it “an unprecedented action by Unilever,” which is the brand’s parent company. The Israeli branch of the ice cream went on to add that ice cream should not be politicised. It also called on the government of Israel as well as the Israeli public “not to allow Israel to be boycotted.”