Update, 7/5: Ben & Jerry’s is now suing Unilever to block the sale of Ben & Jerry’s business interests in Israel in order to avoid selling Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream throughout Israel.
Unilever maintains that it has the right to sell off the Israeli business and that the deal is closed.
Ben & Jerry’s board consists of 7 members, including 2 from Unilever. All 5 non-Unilever reps voted to sue Unilever in an attempt to block the deal.
Will you boycott Ben & Jerry’s?
Update, 6/30: Ben & Jerry’s has Tweeted their unhappiness with their parent company’s decision to find a workaround to sell Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream throughout Israel.
Ironically, their supporters are now calling for a boycott of Unilever, which would include boycotting Ben & Jerry’s everywhere outside of Israel…
Originally posted on 6/29:
I’m currently touring with my family in the Golan Heights, where I heard the incredible news that Unilever has come to a settlement to sell its Ben & Jerry’s business interests in Israel to Ben & Jerry’s Israel, which is owned by Avi Zinger.
2 weeks ago, we were asked to promote Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream promotions for Father’s Day. I responded that we don’t promote anti-Semitic Ice Cream.
Ben & Jerry’s Israel won’t be able to use the company’s English logo in the future, but will be able to sell ice cream under the Ben & Jerry’s name in Hebrew or Arabic throughout Israel.
Unilever also put out a statement speaking out against anti-Semitism and BDS while touting their 4 factories and investments in Israel.
“Unilever rejects completely and repudiates unequivocally any form of discrimination or intolerance. Antisemitism has no place in any society. We have never expressed any support for the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement and have no intention of changing that position.”
Unilever was stuck between a rock and a hard place with them ceding partial control to Ben & Jerry’s, so kudos to them for coming up with a creative solution to sell off their interests to Ben & Jerry’s Israel.
They note that they maintain financial responsibility for the brand and it’s within their rights to sell off a chunk of it, even if Ben and Jerry’s itself is not supportive of continuing to sell their Ice Cream throughout Israel.
Sure, this was done due to lawsuits and states divesting their Unilever holdings, but in the end, it’s great to see that Ben & Jerry’s will continue to be sold throughout Israel, including in Judea and Samaria.
VICTORY: Ben and Jerry's will continue to be sold in all of Israel. A victory for common sense and coexistence and a defeat for discriminatory boycott campaign. I just spoke with Avi Zinger, Israeli CEO of the company who fought the boycott to the end. pic.twitter.com/FZgVLH2QzH
— Michael Dickson (@michaeldickson) June 29, 2022
Does this move redeem Unilever? If you avoided buying their products since the original announcement, will you still still avoid buying their products or Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream outside of Israel? Or is this enough for partial or full forgiveness?