Israel forms task force to pressure Ben & Jerry's to reverse boycott: report

Israel forms task force to pressure Ben & Jerry's to reverse boycott: report
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The Israeli government has created a task force to push Ben & Jerry's into loosening restrictions against Israeli-occupied territories, Axios reported.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry last week reportedly ordered all Israeli diplomatic missions in North America and Europe to begin pushing the ice cream company, owned by Unilever, into negotiations, with a goal of getting it to nix its new policy.

Diplomats were directed to "encourage public protests in the media and directly with key executives in both companies" as well as in front of the company's corporate offices. They were also instructed to issue statements against the companies on social media and target investors.

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"We need to make use of the 18 months that are left until the decision comes into force and try to change it," a cable sent to diplomats read, according to Axios. "We want to create long-term pressure on Unilever and Ben & Jerry's by consumers, politicians, and in the press and social media in order to lead to a dialogue with the companies."

The notice also slammed the decision as "hypocritical," stating it "smells like extreme cancel culture."

The Israel government's push to put pressure on the ice cream company comes after Ben & Jerry's announced it would no longer be selling its products in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in east Jerusalem.

"We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory," Ben & Jerry’s said in a statement. "We also hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners."

The traditionally socially conscious company has since drawn criticism from several GOP lawmakers, including from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisWhere election review efforts stand across the US Schools without mask mandate 3.5 times more likely to have COVID-19 outbreaks: CDC study Texas limits business with Ben & Jerry's over Israel move MORE and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.