In a sad display of misguided “solidarity” with Palestinians, the Vermont based ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s, announced it will no longer sell its ice cream in Jewish settlements in contested territory. Furthermore, it will not renew its licensing agreement with the current Israeli licensee once the agreement ends at the end of 2022. This decision seems to come as a result of the company caving to pressure from the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions) against Israel. Ben & Jerry’s has sold ice cream in Israel for over 35 years through an Israeli licensee, and the company employs over 160 employees between its two factories in southern Israel and various ice cream parlor locations. The company issued the following statement, “The global Ben & Jerry’s decided not to renew the agreement with us in about a year and a half because we have rejected their demand to stop selling all over Israel.” The company is hopeful it can make a new arrangement with the parent company, but time will tell if that is possible. Please pray that the damaging BDS movement will not gain traction with other companies and organizations worldwide. Please also pray for a favorable outcome with the parent company, Unilever, as the Ben & Jerry’s Israel seeks to renegotiate an agreement. Lastly, please pray that people will understand the damaging effect that BDS has not only for Israelis but also for Palestinians, as many Palestinians are employed by Israeli companies, where they earn more competitive wages than in the Palestinian Territories.
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