The Israeli ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, has sent a letter to the governors of 35 US states in which he urges them to take action against the decision of the ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s not to sell its products in the occupied Palestinian territories, as release on his Twitter account.
“We will make it clear to Ben & Jerry’s that your anti-Semitic decision will have consequences“, tweeted the politician this Tuesday.
In coordination w/ @yairlapid, I sent a letter to 35 Governors of US states that have legislation against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/tGW720oRZL
– Ambassador Gilad Erdan Gilad Erdan (@ giladerdan1) July 20, 2021
Erdan notes in his letter that Israel views the move by the brand as a “anti-semitic practice“which entails” an advance in the delegitimization of the Jewish state and the dehumanization of the Jewish people“.
It also warns that the ice cream company’s decision not to sell its products in East Jerusalem and the Judea and Samaria area will affect Israelis and Palestinians alike who work and shop in the territories in question.
“I ask that you consider speaking out against the company’s decision and taking other relevant action, particularly in relation to the laws of your states and the business dealings between Ben & Jerry’s and your state.”
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also denounced Ben & Jerry’s decision in a conversation with Unilever, the British-Dutch multinational that owns the brand. Bennett stressed that Israel “will act vigorously against any act of boycott against its citizens “.
On July 19, the American company Ben & Jerry’s communicated that it will stop selling its ice creams in the occupied Palestinian territories considering that “is incompatible” with the values of the company. The decision will take effect at the end of 2022, when the agreements previously agreed with its Israeli licensee expire. However, the company is expected to continue to sell its products in the rest of the country under a different arrangement.