Israeli leaders are furious with the American ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s for announcing that it will stop selling products in the occupied Palestinian territories of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the US, sent letters to the governors of the 35 US states that have laws on the books against the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that calls for a global boycott to pressure Israel over its occupation and other human rights abuses.
“I ask that you consider speaking out against the company’s decision, and taking any other relevant steps, including in relations to your state laws and the commercial dealings between Ben and Jerry’s and your state,” Erdan said in the letter that he sent Tuesday, which he coordinated with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
Erdan said Israel views Ben and Jerry’s decision as “the de-facto adoption of antisemitic practices.” Lapid made similar comments on Twitter. “Ben & Jerry’s decision represents shameful surrender to antisemitism, to BDS and to all that is wrong with the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish discourse,” the foreign minister wrote on Monday.