The Israeli Prime Minister threatened, on Tuesday, the director of Unilever, the owner of the American ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s, with “serious consequences” after the company announced the previous day to stop marketing its products in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“From the point of view of the State of Israel, this action will have serious consequences, especially at the legal level,” Naftali Bennett said, according to a statement issued by his office, explaining that he had spoken with Alan Job, President of Unilever.
The Israeli Prime Minister considers this decision to “boycott Israel as a clear act against Israel.”
“We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the Unilever subsidiary said in a statement on Monday.
“We have a long-standing partnership with our licensees who make ice cream in Israel and distribute it in the region,” adds Ben & Jerry’s, who has decided nevertheless not to renew the licensing agreement that expires at the end of next year.
However, Ben & Jerry’s specifies in its press release that it will “remain in Israel,” even though its products are no longer sold in the occupied territories.
For his part, Yair Lapid, the head of Israeli diplomacy, commented in a video that “Ben and Jerry’s decision is a shameful capitulation to anti-Semitism, to the boycott movement, to all that is bad in anti-Israel and anti-Jewish rhetoric.”
Founded in 1978, Ben & Jerry’s is a company known for its progressive commitments, from protecting the environment to respecting human rights and the issue of inequality.