Ben Jerry's franchisees ask ice cream maker to reconsider its decision to sell products in Israel

563
2
Ben Jerry's franchisees ask ice cream maker to reconsider its decision to sell products in Israel

Ben Jerry's franchisees operating 30 stores across the country are asking the ice cream maker to re-examine and withdraw its decision to sell products in Gaza Strip and West Bank.

The company made the announcement last month amid heightened tensions between Israel and Gaza that prompted heightened activists and corporations to speak out.

Those who feel so strongly about Israel that they want to boycott it or some part of the territory it administers are free to do so. They cannot, however, do so at our expense, according to a Wednesday release by the franchisees in their letter to Ben Jerry's executives, respectively.

The franchisees' stores have a total revenue of $23.3 million and have partnered with the company for 250 cumulative years, the release states.

We are proud to be part of a company that highlights values as part of its mission, the signatories wrote, adding, however, that there is a danger that social justice will descend into complex truth or result in people who share a simplistic view of the world that misconstrue simplistic problems in which multiple claims of justice are implicated.

The imposition of such narrow prescriptions does not advance Social justice or the pursuit of a values in any meaningful way, they told in the letter.

The American Jewish Committee helped author the letter of Ben Jerry's CEO, director for social mission, director of global retail operations and head of U.S. retail and global strategy, according to an AJC press release.

Tagging one side with all responsibility for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may make self-described social justice advocates proud, but it advances neither peace nor justice, AJC Chief Legal Officer Marc D. Stern said in a letter published by The New York Times in response to the ice cream company's decision.

Ben Jerry's did not immediately respond to an inquiry from FOX Business.

The company said that in July it would not renew an agreement with its licensees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after it expires at the end of next year.

Although Ben Jerry's will no longer be sold in Israeli territories we will remain in Occupied Palestinian Territory through a different arrangement, a press release from the company said at the time. We will share an update on this as soon as we're ready.

The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement applauded the company's move.

After years of BDS campaigns, Ben Jerry's has announced it will end the sales of its ice cream on stolen Palestinian land in Israel. We warmly welcome their decision but call on Ben Jerry's to stop all operations in apartheid Israel, the movement wrote in a July 19 tweet.