Ben and Jerry's won't sell ice cream in occupied Palestinian territories
Ben & Jerry's, the only good corporation, is once again taking a stand for its principles at the risk of profit. On Monday, the ice cream maker announced that it would stop selling its products in occupied Palestinian territory, cutting off the supply of frozen desserts available in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
"We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry's ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)," the company said in a statement. Ben & Jerry's said it will not be renewing a license agreement with a distributor that sells its ice cream in the region. The change will go into effect at the end of next year, when the current agreement expires. According to the company, it will continue to sell its ice cream in Israel for the time being.
Ben & Jerry's has been anything but shy about its politics over the years, but it has gotten particularly outspoken in the last half-decade or so. The company released an ad in 2016 that featured a thinly-veiled reference to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, depicting him as a lemon demagogue while encouraging people to come together in spite of the sour political climate. The company has also lent its support to Black Lives Matter, denounced white supremacy, and advocated for campaign finance reform to eliminate monied influences from dominating politics.
The company has made a number of political stands through how it conducts itself, too. In 2017, it refused to serve two scoops of the same flavor at its shops in Australia to protest a law that banned gay marriage. Last year, it launched a new vegan flavor to draw attention to the impact of factory farming and the dairy industry. Ben & Jerry's has a long and storied record of releasing flavors as markers of major moments and has supported progressive causes throughout its history.
Of course, every time Ben & Jerry's gets political, it catches backlash. Its decision to ditch the OPT is no exception. Conservatives like Ben Shapiro have already led the charge in claiming to boycott the company for its decision — though of course, Shapiro previously tweeted that he continues to eat Ben & Jerry's ice cream despite believing the owners are "awful politically" because "they make great ice cream" and he's "not a vindictive a-hole." (Considering Ben & Jerry's politics haven't changed over the years, looks like Shapiro is, in fact, a vindictive a-hole.)
None of this is new for the company, of course. It catches this heat every time it takes a stand. Earlier this year, Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield told his audience that they shouldn't buy products from "woke companies like Ben & Jerry's" — a statement that came during a rant in which Stinchfield called the Lucky Charms mascot gay because he "wears high heels shoes and prances around in tights," which tells you how seriously you should take it.