Ben & Jerry’s board is demanding to boycott all of Israel rather than just the “occupied territories” but the move is opposed by its parent company Unilever, NBC News reported on Monday.
The ice cream company’s board is furious that Unilever issued a statement on Monday clarifying that it will be continuing to sell ice cream inside Israel.
Anuradha Mittal, Ben & Jerry’s board chair, told NBC that Unilever’s statement that it is continuing sales in Israel proper was made against the wishes of the board and in violation of a legal agreement made when it bought Ben & Jerry’s in 2000.
“The statement released by Ben & Jerry’s regarding its operation in Israel and the Occupied Palestine Territory does not reflect the position of the Independent Board nor was it approved by the Independent Board,” read a statement by the Ben & Jerry’s Independent Board of Directors.
A reminder, if you support the BDS in any way, shape or form, then you are supporting call for the destruction of Israel. Is that really what you want to stand for? @benandjerrys https://t.co/PvwYjwXC6p
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) July 20, 2021
Although Ben & Jerry’s was acquired by Unilever in 2000, the companies signed a unique acquisition agreement legally vesting an independent board to maintain control over Ben & Jerry’s “social mission, brand integrity and policies,” NBC explained.
Of course, Unilever’s determination to continue selling Ben & Jerry’s in Israel stems from business interests as scores of Unilever products apart from ice cream are sold in Israel and in Yehuda and the Shomron, including Hellmann’s, Telma, Lipton, Knorr, Bagel Bagel, Vered HaGalil and others.
As the CEO of Ben & Jerry’s Israel, Avi Zinger, said on Tuesday: “Unilever operates in Yehuda and the Shomron. They have factories and hundreds and thousands of workers. They can’t deny the situation.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)