The original Ben & Jerry’s abandoned its name in Israel due to its boycott of Judea and Samaria, says an Israeli organization that created its own version of the brand to sell ice cream in the Jewish state.
By United With Israel Staff
An Israeli non-governmental organization is moving to seize the Ben & Jerry’s trademark in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem.
In a letter to Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s, Shurat HaDin president Nitzana Darshan-Leitner wrote that her organization “has now registered a commercial entity with the Israeli registry of corporations called ‘Judea and Samaria’s Ben & Jerry’s,’”
“We intend to use the Ben & Jerry’s name and match the Vermont company’s current ice cream line, as well as add on new flavors and products. We are confident we can expand the business into each community in the territory you have abandoned,” she wrote.
Unilever, an international conglomerate based in London, has owned Ben & Jerry’s since 2000.
According to Darshan-Leitner, Unilever technically no longer has the right to use the Ben & Jerry’s trademark in areas it is boycotting. The current contract with Israeli producers expires in 2023, which means Shurat HaDin’s ice cream sales in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem won’t begin until the conclusion of the contracts.
Ben & Jerry’s stoked anger worldwide earlier in July when it announced it would no longer sell its products in Judea and Samaria, which it derogatorily referred to as “the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” According to reports, the ice cream company’s board of directors sought to boycott all of Israel, but was stopped by Unilever.
Ben & Jerry’s “economic terrorism,” as President Isaac Herzog put it, hurts Jews and Arabs alike.
Unilever faces legal scrutiny in more than 30 U.S. states which have laws against companies boycotting Israel. The food giant faces the loss of public contracts from New York to California.
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