Ben & Jerry’s will no longer boycott Israel, its parent company Unilever announced on Wednesday, after reaching a settlement with the ice cream company’s Israeli licensee.
Unilever sold all of its Ben & Jerry’s business interests in Israel to Avi Zinger, owner of the licensee, American Quality Products Ltd., allowing him to sell Ben & Jerry’s under its Hebrew and Arabic names throughout sovereign Israel and Judea and Samaria.
The Vermont-based ice cream company announced that it would no longer allow its products to be sold to Israelis in the West Bank last July. The boycott, in effect, was against all of Israel, because of local laws against location-based discrimination that would not have allowed Avi Zinger, the Israeli licensee, to limit his sales to one side of the Green Line.
Following Ben & Jerry’s announcement, Jewish and pro-Israel organizations took action, protesting the decision and trying to find legal ways around it. Several states that have laws meant to discourage BDS began the process of divesting or stopping to purchase products from Unilever. more