By Ron Kampeas
A federal judge denied ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s attempt to get its parent company Unilever to stop selling the brand’s ice cream in the West Bank.
Andrew L. Carter Jr., a U.S. District judge in Manhattan, said Ben & Jerry’s claim that the sale would harm its brand, which incorporates social justice, was “speculative,” Bloomberg reported, and he blocked the ice cream maker’s request for a preliminary injunction against Unilever. The judge has yet to dismiss the case outright.
Ben & Jerry’s said last year that it would suspend sales to the West Bank while maintaining sales in Israel’s pre-1967 territory. That spurred condemnation by Israeli government officials and some U.S. Jewish organizations, along with calls for a boycott of the ice cream maker.
In June, after consulting with Jewish groups and Israeli officials, Unilever sold its Israeli business stake to Israel-based American Quality Products, Ltd., which has owned Ben & Jerry’s Israel factories and distributed the product in Israel since 1987. American Quality Products, Ltd. has publicly vowed to continue selling Ben & Jerry’s in the West Bank.