Ben & Jerry’s to Stop Selling Ice Cream in Israeli-Occupied Territories

Ben & Jerry’s, the ice cream purveyor famous for taking stands on hot-button social issues, announced Monday that it was ending sales in the Israeli-occupied territories — plunging itself into one of the most contentious debates on the international stage.

“We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” it said in a statement.

With that, an unabashedly political company that over the years has embraced the Black Lives Matter and criminal justice reform movements also appeared to offer support to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to apply economic and political pressure on Israel on behalf of the Palestinians.

But the company emphasized that it was not boycotting the country as a whole — “we will stay in Israel,” it said — just withdrawing from markets in the West Bank.

The announcement was greeted with anger by many prominent Israelis, who urged people to stop stocking up on Chubby Hubby, Cherry Garcia or any of Ben and Jerry’s other iconic flavors.

“Now we Israelis know which ice cream NOT to buy,” tweeted former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the opposition leader.

The current prime minister, Naftali Bennett, called the company’s decision “morally wrong” and said, “Ben & Jerry’s has decided to brand itself as the anti-Israeli ice cream.”

Ben & Jerry’s declined to comment beyond its statement.

Among other goals, organizers of the boycott movement want Israel to end its occupation of all the land captured in 1967 and dismantle the barriers that separate Israel from much of the West Bank and divide many Palestinian neighborhoods.

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