Ben & Jerry's boycott

90 Israeli lawmakers sign letter to demand Unilever scrap Ben & Jerry's boycott

90 Israeli lawmakers sign letter to demand Unilever scrap Ben & Jerry's boycott

Ben and Jerry Ice cream

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On Wednesday, 90 Knesset members from all parties signed a letter urging Unilever, which owns Ben & Jerry's, to reverse the ice cream giant's decision not to sell its goods in Israeli settlements.

After pressure from pro-Palestinian groups over its business in Israel and Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which has been handled through a licensee partner since 1987, the Ben & Jerry's ice cream brand - which was acquired by Unilever in 2000 in a deal that allowed it to operate with more autonomy than other subsidiaries - made its decision.

Israeli settlements on Palestinian property are considered unlawful by the majority of countries. This is something Israel denies.
"Nearly every member of the Israeli parliament, from every political party, has signed this letter," according to the letter spearheaded by Yesh Atid MK Merav Ben-Ari.

"From the left to the right, religious and secular, Druze and Jewish, men and women. We stand together against the outrageous decision made last week by Ben & Jerry's Global, a company owned by Unilever International. 

The Knesset members wrote, "This is disgraceful, abusive behavior, and above all, a choice that excludes vast portions of the very public that Ben & Jerry's world management apparently aspires to assist." They were referring to Palestinians employed by the company's West Bank distributor.
Hundreds of Israeli laborers who work at two of the sites are also harmed.
"This decision is in violation of Israeli legislation, including the Prohibition of Discrimination in Products and the Ban on Boycotting Israeli Territories," the letter stated, requesting the corporation to reconsider its decision.

"The Israeli legislature's cross-party cooperation demonstrates how morally warped Univlever's decision is," MK Ben-Ari remarked. "We will not allow such meddling in state laws, which damages hundreds of Israeli workers and hundreds of thousands of Israelis, including Jews and Arabs."

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