By: A7 Staff
A New York City-based grocery store chain will reduce the amount of shelf space it dedicates to Ben & Jerry’s products following the ice cream company’s boycott of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, JTA reports.
John Catsimatidis, CEO of Gristede’s Supermarkets and a 2013 Republican candidate for mayor of New York City, announced the decision in a tweet on Friday.
“I authorized our stores to cut Ben & Jerry’s space by 30% & not advertise until further notice. It’s a tragedy that Ben & Jerry’s has politicized ice cream,” Catsimatidis wrote.
Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever, caused an uproar last week when it announced it would stop sales of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in what the company called the “Occupied Palestinian Territory”.
A number of supermarket chains have already announced that they will no longer stock Ben & Jerry’s products following its controversial decision to boycott Judea and Samaria, including Glatt Express Supermarket, Seasons, Morton Williams Supermarkets, and others.
In addition, several US states have taken action against Ben & Jerry’s. The Texas State Comptroller announced this past Thursday that the government is examining whether the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company violated the state’s anti-BDS laws.
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has called on the State Board of Administration (SBA) to immediately place Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever on the Continued Examination Companies that Boycott Israel List and initiate the process to place both companies on the Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List.
Other states, including Illinois and New Jersey, are also reportedly considering stopping their state investment in Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever.
The KOF-K Kashrut Organization, which provides certification to Ben & Jerry’s, responded on Monday to calls on the organization to pull their certification of the ice cream following parent company Unilever’s decision to boycott Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.
The organization said it will not be pulling its certification at this time, but will use its influence to ensure that the new policy from Ben & Jerry’s will never be implemented.
“Although Ben and Jerry’s and its parent company Unilever announced that they will not be leaving Israel, the KOF-K is quite concerned about Ben & Jerry’s decision not to sell to Yehuda and Shomron as of January 1, 2023. Unilever has committed that the company will adhere to their contract. The KOF-K has been in contact with the Israeli Government and the Yesha Council to determine the most effective way to respond. Based on the advice of the Yesha council the KOFK will continue to fulfill its contractual obligations to Ben & Jerry’s while using its influence to make sure that this anti-Israel policy never becomes implemented. The KOF-K has expressed to Unilever and Ben and Jerry’s CEOs the negative repercussions of this policy,” the statement said.