New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined those condemning the decision by Ben & Jerry’s to bar ice cream sales in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory” (OPT) and said Tuesday he would be staging a boycott of his own.
“I can say that I won’t be eating anymore Cherry Garcia for a while,” de Blasio said in reference to one of the company’s most beloved flavors.
“That’s sad to me. I don’t know them well, but I’ve met them over the years and I think they’re good people, literally Ben and Jerry,” he added. “I think they’re good people with good values, but this is a mistake. They shouldn’t do this.”
The New York City mayor’s comments come one day after the ice cream company announced it would be stopping all sales in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
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“We have a long-standing partnership with our licensee, who manufactures Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel and distributes it in the region,” the company said in a press release Monday. “We have been working to change this, and so we have informed our licensee that we will not renew the license agreement when it expires at the end of next year.”
The release said that it will continue to sell ice cream in Israel “through a different arrangement,” but the announcement has been met with condemnation by top Jewish leaders.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s, Unilever Plc, of “severe consequences” in a Tuesday phone call with CEO Alan Jope.
Bennett called the move a “glaring anti-Israel measure” and said Israel would act “aggressively against any boycott measure targeting civilians,” reported Reuters.
And State Department spokesmen Ned Price said the U.S. continues to “firmly reject” the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement “unfairly” targeting Israel.
Houston Keene contributed to this report.
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