Tuesday 20 July 2021 2:20 pm

'Severe consequences': Israel warns Unilever against Ben & Jerry's West Bank boycott

Israel has warned consumer goods giant Unilever of “severe consequences” if its subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s upholds its decision to boycott the West Bank.

Vermont-based ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s said it plans to stop selling ice cream in Israeli-occupied territories yesterday.

However, Israel’s prime minister Naftali Bennett urged the US to invoke anti-boycott laws.

The ice cream company said it would not renew its West Bank license when it expires at the end of next year.

Ben & Jerry’s said it would stay in Israel under a different arrangement, without sales in areas where Palestinians seek statehood.

“We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). 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,” a spokesperson for Ben & Herry’s told City A.M.

The prime minister’s office said he spoke with Unilever CEO Alan Jope about the “glaring anti-Israel measure”.

“From Israel’s standpoint, this action has severe consequences, legal and otherwise, and it will move aggressively against any boycott measure targeting civilians,” Bennett told Jope, according to the statement from his office.

City A.M. has contacted Unilever UK for comment.