Unilever has sold off its Ben & Jerry’s business in Israel in a bid to smooth over a diplomatic row that erupted over the firm’s move to halt sales in occupied Palestinian territories.
The U.S. ice cream maker said last year that selling in the territories was “inconsistent” with its values. The move sparked a major row however, with Israel condemning the boycott last year as “morally wrong” and said Unilever would face “severe consequences”.
London-listed Unilever defended Ben & Jerry’s autonomy, but said it was “fully committed” to Israel and would find a solution by the end of this year.
The move announced today will see Ben & Jerry’s sold under its Hebrew and Arabic names throughout Israel and the West Bank “under the full ownership of its current licensee,” Unilever said.
Israel’s foreign ministry today called the Ben & Jerry’s deal “a huge victory.”