Ben & Jerry’s cease sales in West Bank, east Jerusalem

Ben & Jerry's ice cream | photo: Dairy Processing

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – Ben & Jerry’s on Monday said that they are going to stop selling its ice cream in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and contested east Jerusalem, saying that the sales in the territories sought by the Palestinians are inconsistent with their values.

The announcement was one of the strongest and highest-profile rebukes by a well-known company against Israel’s policy of settling its citizens on war-won lands. The settlements are widely seen by the international community as illegal and obstacles to peace.

The move by the Vermont-based ice cream company drew swift reproach from Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a former leader of the West Bank settlement movement who called it “an immoral decision and I believe that it will turn out to be a business mistake, too.”

The company informed its longstanding licensee — responsible for manufacturing and distributing the ice cream in Israel, that it will not renew the license agreement when it expires at the end of next year, according to a statement posted on the Vermont-based company’s website.

Retweeting the tweet from Ben & Jerry’s which stated that they are ending sales of their ice cream in occupied Palestinian Territory, former Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu said that “now we Israeli’s know which ice cream not to buy.”