Florida may drop Ben & Jerry’s parent over Israel boycott

Florida

(Promotional image courtesy: Ben & Jerry’s)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Florida has taken a step to halt investment of state resources in the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s over its decision to stop selling ice cream in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and contested east Jerusalem.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that the State Board of Administration has added London-based Unilever to its list of companies that boycott Israel.

This means that if Ben & Jerry’s position on Israel is not reversed in 90 days, Florida will not invest in or contract with Unilever or its subsidiaries.

Company founders Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield said in a recent opinion piece that they no longer control the company but the Israeli action reflects their progressive values.

The ice cream maker released a statement on its website stating, “We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).”

The company also tweeted the statement, which was the first tweet in more than two months from a company known for its social media presence. The account had been silent since mid-May, when its last tweet about mint ice cream received hundreds of critical replies about its operations in the disputed areas.

The release also stated, “Although Ben & Jerry’s will no longer be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, we will stay in Israel through a different arrangement.”

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