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Photo: Kevin Dietsch via Getty Images

Ben & Jerry's said Monday it will stop selling its ice cream in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Why it matters: The ice cream maker's decision is "one of the strongest and highest-profile rebukes by a well-known company" of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law, AP notes.

Driving the news: The company said in a statement that it will continue to sell its ice cream in Israel, but "it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)."

  • Ben & Jerry's has had a "longstanding partnership with a licensee" that manufactures and distributes its ice cream in Israel and the region.
  • The company will not renew that agreement when it expires at the end of next year. "We will stay in Israel through a different arrangement," Ben & Jerry's said.
  • "We ... hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners," the company noted.

The big picture: Recent fighting between Israel and Hamas has led to protests around the world, including demonstrations against the ice cream maker.

  • Vermonters for Justice in Palestine called on the company last month to "end complicity in Israel’s occupation and abuses of Palestinian human rights," according to AP.

What they're saying: The Palestinian BDS National Committee, a group that advocates for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israeli institutions and businesses, praised the move but urged the company to end all operations in Israel.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, however, called the decision “a shameful capitulation to antisemitism, BDS and everything bad in the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish discourse," per Al Jazeera.

Worth noting: The ice cream maker hasn't shied away from wading into political issues in the past, with its opposition to Trump-era policies and support for the end of qualified immunity for police officers.

Go deeper

Oct 21, 2021 - World

Scoop: Israel and France hold secret talks to end NSO spyware crisis

Anyone listening? Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Israeli national security adviser Eyal Hulata secretly visited Paris several days ago for talks with his counterparts at the Élysée aimed at ending the crisis around the alleged use of Pegasus spyware developed by Israeli firm NSO to hack the cell phones of President Emmanuel Macron and other top French officials, Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The alleged misuse of NSO software has become a major diplomatic headache for Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government. The crisis led to a partial freeze on diplomatic, security and intelligence cooperation between Israel and France and the suspension of high-level bilateral visits.

Surprising pandemic side effect: Soaring trade deficits

Source: Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

Inflation and jobs may get all the economic headlines, but meanwhile a big shift is taking place in the underpinnings of the world economy: The U.S. trade deficit is soaring.

What's happening: Americans' spending on imported physical goods has gone through the roof, while exports are growing slowly, making the U.S. the world's consumer of last resort.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Third Way: "Big Lie" could become "Big Coup"

Graphic: Third Way

Third Way, the center-left think tank, is urging fellow Democrats to respond to the Capitol riot with "the size, scope, and seriousness of a presidential campaign," co-founder Matt Bennett tells me.

Driving the news: "For the first time in U.S. history, a party must mount two parallel presidential campaigns: one to win the election, and the other to prevent its theft," Bennett said, calling this "a Paul Revere moment."