Ben & Jerry's Just Gave This Response To Their Critics On Twitter

Earlier today, Ben & Jerry's broke their radio silence on Twitter. "Ben & Jerry's will end sales of our ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territory," they tweeted with a link to a fuller statement. In the statement, Ben & Jerry's explain that they consider that operating within the Occupied Palestinian Territory runs counter to the values of their brand. The company did, however, end the statement by dispelling any rumors that the brand will no longer be sold Israel and a promise to update their fans with further details in the future. 

Responses to the announcement run along fairly predictable lines: Some are positive about their decision, and others not so much. Twitter user @cfpeace commented, "The Israeli-Palestinian movement Combatants for Peace congratulates Ben & Jerry's on the decision to end sales in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. A decision, like the ice cream, in good taste. No one should legitimize the occupation." Some users, like @AkivaLamm, see this as an example of anti-semitism: "when you boycott Jews that live anywhere in the world, you arent promoting peace or tolerance, your promoting ANTISEMITISM, aka racism." Others deem this a half-measure, as the brand will still distribute in Israel and mentioned nothing about closing the factory they licensed within the occupied territory. "'We will stay in Israel through a different arrangement,'" user @blunder_zach quoted, adding their own thought, "Oh, cool so this is meaningless."

Why fans expected a response

It seems evident that Ben & Jerry's has undergone a long period of soul-searching on the topic. Their last tweet before the announcement was on May 18, a flashpoint in the Israel-Palestine conflict (via Boston Globe). The tweet in question asked if there were any mint lovers in their fanbase, to which most comments responded with criticism of the company's silence on the matter. The reason why Ben & Jerry's fans expected a more swift response on this topic was due to the brand being so outspoken (and their usually progressive stance) when it came to other causes in the past.

But according to the Associate Press, the announcement that they will stay in Israel while pulling out of occupied land will likely not be enough to mollify the brand's pro-Israeli base. The foreign ministry denounced the move, releasing a statement reading, "The decision is immoral and discriminatory, as it singles out Israel, harms both Israelis and Palestinians and encourages extremist groups who use bullying tactics." It seems many Ben & Jerry's fans on both sides of the conflict found this announcement unsatisfactory.