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Ben & Jerry returns to Westbank as Unireber sells Israeli assets

New agreement in Israel occupies Ben&Jerusalem's ice cream with East Jerusalem despite protests by ice cream makerWill be returned to the west bank of the Jordan River. According to Israeli policy, Unilever, the company that owns the brand.

But a product sold only in Hebrew and Arabic will appeal to Ben&Jerry's fans, or a Vermont company that has long supported its liberal purpose. It is unclear if they will receive support.

Israel welcomed this move as a victory for an ongoing campaign against a Palestinian-led boycott, investment withdrawal and sanctions movement. The BDS aims to bring economic pressure on Israel over the military occupation of the land that Palestinians want for the nation of the future.

Unilever acquired Ben&Jerry's in 2000, but distanced from last year's decision to stop selling ice cream makers in the region. Said on Wednesday. He sold his business profits in Israel to a local company and sold Ben&Jerry's ice cream under Hebrew and Arabic names throughout Israel and the West Bank.

Ben&When Jerry's was sold, the two companies had a long history of ice cream maker independent committees for many liberal purposes, including racial justice, climate change, and LGBTQ rights. Agreed to be free to carry out its social mission, including its support. Campaign finance reform. However, Unilever has the final say on financial and operational decisions.

Unilever said, "We took the opportunity last year to hear what we think of this complex and delicate issue and believe that this is the best result for Ben&Jerry of Israel." Stated.

Unilever reiterated in its statement that it did not support the BDS movement. He said he was "extremely proud" of his business in Israel, which has about 2,000 employees and four manufacturing plants.

Unilever has sold its business to Avi Zinger, the owner of Israel-based American Quality Products Ltd. He sued Unilever and Ben in US federal court in March. He said it violated US and Israeli law.

Ginger's legal team said the decision by Unilever was part of the settlement. He thanked Unilever for solving the problem and taking a "strong and principled position" against BDS. "There is no room for discrimination in the commercial sale of ice cream," Ginger said.

Ben&There was no immediate comment from Jerry's. A spokeswoman pointed out Unilever's announcement.

"Only a glass of ice cream"

However, the reaction to the new agreement arrived soon.

Omar Shakir, director of Human Rights Watch in Israel and the Palestinian Territory, said Unilever, Ben&Jerry's "to avoid collusion of Israel's infringement of Palestinian rights. He said he was trying to undermine the "principle decision". Equivalent to apartheid. Israel categorically rejects its characterization.

"Unsuccessful: Ben&Jerry does not do business in an illegal settlement. What comes next may look and taste similar, but Ben&Jerry Without the recognized values ​​of social justice, it's just a glass of ice cream. "

Israel welcomed this decision and supported the campaign against BDS with the governors of the United States and other regions. Thank you to the other elected officials. Unilever said he consulted with the Foreign Ministry throughout the process.

"Even when it comes to ice cream, anti-Semitism will not beat us," said Foreign Minister Yair Rapid. "We will fight outlawing and boycott campaigns in all areas, whether in public squares, economic zones or moral territories."

Supported by virtually all Palestinian civil society BDS, a group under its umbrella, claims to be a non-violent protest movement modeled after a boycott campaign against Aparthate South Africa. It does not take an official position on how to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and officially rejects anti-Semitism.

Israel sees BDS as an attack on its legitimacy, as some supporters have extreme views. Israel also points out the group's support for the right of return of millions of Palestinian refugees. This would spell the end of Israel as the majority of Jewish nations. And BDS leaders refuse to support a two-state solution to the conflict.

Ben&Jerry's decision appeared to be aimed at an Israeli reconciliation project rather than a complete boycott. About 700,000 Jewish settlers live on the west bank of the occupied Jordan and East Jerusalem, andIsrael annexesand considers it part of the capital. increase. Israel occupied both territories during the 1967 Middle East War, and Palestinians want them to become part of the nation of the future.

Most international communities consider reconciliation a violation of international law. Palestinians see them as a major obstacle to peace as the future Palestinian nation absorbs and divides the land it will establish. All Israeli governments have expanded their settlements, including at the height of the peace process in the 1990s.

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