Israeli, Avi Zinger said that the ice cream he makes usually brings joy but with Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop selling in occupied Palestinian territory his factory has been cast into a political storm.
“We will continue to sell anywhere related to Israel,” a defiant Zinger told AFP at his plant in Beer-Tuvia south of Tel Aviv, where 160 workers churn out pints of the popular ice cream.
On Monday, the Vermont-based Ben & Jerry’s made the announcement that it would no longer sell its ice cream in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, namely the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
More than 670 000 Jewish settlers live in the two territories, in communities that are widely regarded as illegal under international law.
Zinger said that he wants to continue selling ice cream to everyone: Palestinians and Israeli’s, whether they live intel Aviv or in a settlement.
Zinger said that, “We cannot boycott Israeli citizens for political reasons”. He also stated that hê believes his refusal to comply with the boycott is why Ben & Jerry’s decided to not renew his license agreement that expires at the end of next year.
The Beer-Tuvia factory continues to operate but employees are concerned that they will lose their jobs.
Zinger, who imported the brand 35 years ago, stated that he hopes that Ben & Jerry’s will back down, just as Airbnb did in 2019.
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