Ben & Jerry’s Israel: “Don’t Boycott Us, We Withstood Intense Pressure”

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As the furor over Ben and Jerry’s announcement of its boycott of Jewish communities in Yehudah and the Shomron continues, the CEO of Ben & Jerry’s Israel implores Israelis not to boycott his franchise, saying that he has resisted intense pressure to stop selling to Yehudah and Shomron and due to his refusal, the company has informed him that they will not extend his franchise agreement.

CEO Avi Zinger explained that anyone boycotting the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream sold in Israel is only harming his franchise which employs hundreds of Israeli workers.

In a video he posted on social media on Tuesday, he said: “We’re continuing to sell throughout Israel and will not give in to the pressure and boycott of Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s Global. Ice cream is not part of politics. We call on Israelis to continue buying the Israeli product which provides a livelihood for hundreds of employees in the south.”

“I heard about the decision more or less together with everyone but I’ve been pressured for a year and a half to halt distribution to Yehuda and the Shomron,” Zinger told Channel 12 News. “Of course, I opposed it all along. The pressure has increased ever since the operation in Gaza.”

“I did not give in to their demands and I’ll continue not to give in,” Zinger stressed. “I’ve been with them for 25 years, I brought it to Israel. I was informed two hours ago that since I am not willing to cooperate on this issue, they will not extend my agreement [when it expires] in a year and a half.”

Zinger added that Unilever [which owns Ben & Jerry’s] sells other products in Yehudah and the Shomron. “They operate here. They have factories and hundreds and thousands of workers. They can’t deny the situation.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


6 COMMENTS

  1. “Ben and Jerry” in Israel is not a big issue. The Israelis can produce ice cream just as well as anyone, and the status of the intellectual property (e.g. trademarks) of a boycotting corporation is questionable. Everything they make could easily be replaced by Israeli-made products if Israel bans all Unilever products. If all they do is refuse to have manufacturing done in the West Bank, and refuse to have any distributors whose main offices are in the West Bank, this is just a media “hype” with no real legal significance.

    Internationally, Unilever, one of the world’s largest corporations, can run into serious legal difficulties in many countries if boycotting Israel, and would subject themselves to a counter boycott. They are in consumer products (Lipton, Breyer’s ice cream, Hellman’s, etc.), all of which have significant alternatives.

  2. The fact remains that every pint of B&J’s sold in Israel puts money into the pockets of the creeps who called for the boycott of Yehuda and Shomron. Mr. Zinger needs to see the handwriting on the wall and find another ice cream brand to represent instead of B&J’s.

    (We in the US do not have Mr. Zinger’s problem and we most certainly should avoid the B&J brand and lobby vigorously for stores to stop carrying it.)

  3. These workers including the ceo will be out of a job anyway. Boycott is the only power individuals have to protest this anti-Semitic decision. He should be embarrassed for making that video