WASHINGTON, September 9, 2013 (WAFA) – More than 150 civil society organizations in the United States and worldwide signed a letter to the American ice cream company’s Ben & Jerry’s CEO, Jostein Solheim, urging the company “to stand by its Social Mission and to ensure that its products are not sold, catered and distributed in Israeli settlements” in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, a press release said Monday.
The letter, organized by Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel (VTJP), calls on Solheim “to take all necessary contractual and legal measures to bring your franchise’s settlement business to an end in a verifiable way, and to release a public statement of your company’s commitment to end its business ties to Israel’s occupation and settlement enterprise.”
It said that by ending its commercial complicity with Israel’s occupation, the Vermont-based Ben & Jerry’s “would help to expose the devastating consequences and illegality of Israel’s settlement enterprise. It would also set a powerful example of socially responsible engagement in Israel/Palestine for other companies to emulate.”
VTJP launched an international campaign in March calling on Ben & Jerry’s to end its commercial complicity with Israel’s occupation and settlement regime.
Marc Estrin, a VTJP activist, said, “We hope Ben & Jerry’s will be persuaded by the strong worldwide support our letter has garnered to sever its commercial ties to Israel’s settlements.”