Ben & Jerry's to stop selling ice cream in occupied Palestinian territories

(NEXSTAR) — Ben & Jerry’s ice cream said Monday it was going to stop selling its ice cream in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In a statement posted on the company’s website, the Vermont-based ice cream maker says it recognizes “the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners.”

“We have a longstanding partnership with our licensee, who manufactures Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel and distributes it in the region,” the statement said. “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.”

Israeli officials publicly rebuked the company Wednesday for its decision.

“Ben & Jerry’s decided to brand itself as an anti-Israel ice cream,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement Monday. “This is a moral mistake and I believe it will turn out to be a business mistake as well.”

Bennett vowed to fight the move “with all our might.”

Yair Lapid, Israel’s minister of foreign affairs, said the announcement “represents shameful surrender to antisemitism.”

While Ben & Jerry’s products will not be sold in the occupied territories, the company will stay in Israel through a different arrangement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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