On Monday, Ben and Jerry's announced that they will no longer sell their ice cream in the area they call the OPT, or Occupied Palestinian Territory.
The company's full statement reads:
"We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). We also hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners."
"We have a longstanding partnership with our licensee, who manufactures Ben & Jerry's ice cream in Israel and distributes it in the region. We have been working to change this, and so we have informed our licensee that we will not renew the license agreement when it expires at the end of next year."
"Although Ben & Jerry's will no longer be sold in the OPT, we will stay in Israel through a different arrangement. We will share an update on this as soon as we’re ready."
The storied ice cream company has been around since 1987, and has been famous throughout its history for championing progressive causes from time to time. However, it has had business ties to Israel since 2012.
It appears that protests have been putting pressure on the company to act, despite their attempts to stay neutral during the past conflict between Israel and Hamas which took place in May.
On the other side of things, it also appears that their decision is not popular with many within Israel. According to Haaretz, the Yesha Council, an umbrella Israeli organization in the West Bank, stated:
"In the hot summer days, we urge Israelis around the country to eat delicious, sweet Israeli ice cream. There's no need to buy products from companies that boycott hundreds of thousands of citizens of the State of Israel because of where they chose to live."
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