Israeli Manufacturer And Distributor Is Suing Ben & Jerry’s & Unilever

REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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An Israeli ice cream manufacturer filed a lawsuit in New Jersey federal court Thursday against Ben & Jerry’s and its parent company Unilever because his license was not renewed due to where he sells his products, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Ben & Jerry’s announced in 2021 it would stop selling products in East Jerusalem and the West Bank when its licensing agreement expires at the end of 2022. Avi Zinger’s lawsuit claims Ben & Jerry’s “repeatedly promised” they would extend American Quality Products LTD’s five-year license when it expires in December 2022, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Zinger, 69, received a letter on July 19, 2021, from the company explaining that they would not renew his license — the same day they released a public statement saying they would stop selling in the West Bank at the end of 2022, The Wall Street Journal reported.  (RELATED: ‘I Don’t Know What That Would Accomplish’: Ben & Jerry’s Says It Won’t Protest Texas, Georgia After Boycotting West Bank)

In addition to seeking unspecified damages that will later be decided at trial, Zinger is requesting an injunction so that he can keep manufacturing and distributing Ben & Jerry’s ice cream until the lawsuit is resolved, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Zinger’s lawyers are arguing that the businessman is facing a tough decision between the law and his livelihood. If he obeys Unilever, he would violate Israel’s nondiscrimination law that forbids boycotts against Israel.

Zinger has refused to stop selling Ben & Jerry’s products, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“The only reason for a nonrenewal was plaintiffs’ refusal to carry out [the] unlawful demand,” the suit said.