Now, Israeli students accuse Ben & Jerry’s of occupying US tribal land

Amid reports of American ice-cream giant Ben & Jerry’s suing its parent company Unilever to block move to sell products in the West Bank, reports say Israeli students in a letter have accussed accused Ben & Jerry’s of occupying tribal land in the United States.

At least 1,000 Israeli students and academics have accussed Ben & Jerry’s of “hypocrisy” while stating in the letter that land in Vermont once belonged to Abenaki native American tribe. 

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The students said the company’s “occupation” of Abenaki lands was “wholly inconsistent with the stated values that Ben & Jerry’s purports to maintain”. 

Last year the Vermont-based US ice-cream company had stated that it won’t be selling its products in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories while underlying that it was “inconsistent with our values” as the Palestinians backed the move. However, the company maintained that it would continue to sell its ice-cream in Israel.

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In the letter, the Israeli students and academics accussed the company of being “wholly inconsistent with the stated values that Ben & Jerry’s purports to maintain”. 

The US ice-cream company is currently in a dispute with Unilever after it announced that it has sold its Ben & Jerry’s stakes in Israel to a local licensee Avi Zinger with ice-cream sales likely to once again set to restart in the West Bank.

Unilever declared in a statement that Ben & Jerry’s will be sold under its Hebrew and Arabic names throughout Israel and the West Bank under the “full ownership” of its current licensee. Zinger maintained that it would ensure the sale of the ice-cream in Israel and Judea and Samaria, using Biblical terms for the West Bank as Israel welcomed the move saying that “Ben & Jerry’s factory and its workforce will be protected”.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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