Florida and Texas have threatened Ben & Jerry’s with sanctions as a result of the boycott of Israel.
Following Ben & Jerry’s declaration of an imminent boycott that will end sales of its product in Israel’s occupied Palestinian territories, Florida and Texas have both threatened sanctions against the ice cream company.
Florida and Texas are two of 35 states that have passed laws or issued executive orders prohibiting businesses and organizations from participating in the BDS campaign (BDS). The BDS movement aims to financially hurt Israel as a result of its acts against Palestinians.
In a letter to the executive director of the state’s administrative board on Thursday, Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated, “It has come to my attention that Ben & Jerry’s has declared plans to withdraw its products and prevent the sale of its ice cream in Judea and Samaria.”
Ben and Jerry’s is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, a publicly traded firm with various Florida investments, according to DeSantis’ letter. In order to comply with the state’s anti-BDS rules, DeSantis stated that if Ben & Jerry’s continues with its boycott, the executive board will have to stop acquiring “any and all Unilever assets.”
Similarly, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, a Republican, said his office is looking into whether Ben & Jerry’s broke the state’s anti-BDS statutes. While the state has blacklisted nine companies for allegedly supporting the BDS movement, The Houston Chronicle’s check of state records revealed no current relationships with the ice cream company.
Hegar said Texans have “made it very obvious that they stand with Israel and its people” in a statement.
He went on to say, “It’s worth mentioning that Texans have many better options for a sweet treat this summer.” “Blue Bell was founded in Brenham, Texas, and it tastes a lot better than the pricey, stuck-up stuff made in Vermont by a foreign-owned company.”
The state’s actions come after Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Gilad Erdan, launched a public demand on 35 states with anti-BDS laws to take action against Ben & Jerry’s.
He tweeted, “We must stand united and convey a clear message that this will not be tolerated.”
Ben & Jerry’s announced on July 19 that when their license agreement with the Israel-based firm that manufactures and sells their ice cream ends, they will not renew it. This is a condensed version of the information.