Ever since Ben & Jerry's decided to boycott Israel, states throughout the U.S. have been checking whether the iconic ice cream company has run afoul of their anti-BDS laws. Now the first state has taken action and the heat is on.
A few weeks ago, we welcomed Professor Gil Troy to The Teacher and the Preacher to discuss Ben & Jerry's unprecedented decision to stop all sales of its ice cream over the Green Line (and possibly throughout Israel) as soon as the Israeli manufacturer's license with Ben & Jerry's expires next year.
Professor Troy offered fascinating insights into the bigger picture of the boycott, what's behind it, and it's potential future implications for Israel that go way beyond ice cream. If you missed this wonderful episode, you can catch it by clicking here.
Ben & Jerry's shameful boycott has been noticed well beyond Israel's borders. Thirty-five American states have laws prohibiting companies from arbitrarily singling out Israel for a boycott. Many of these states have been busy examining whether Ben & Jerry's actions have run afoul of their legislation. If so, the consequences can mean cutting all association with Ben & Jerry's and divesting pension and other government funds of any investment in the company (or in this case, it's parent company, Unilever).
Now, Arizona has come out as the first state to declare that Ben & Jerry's has violated its anti-BDS laws. Arizona will be divesting all $143 million of its government funds in Ben & Jerry's parent company by the end of September.
Arizona's state treasurer stated, "Israel is and will continue to be a major trade partner of Arizona and I will not allow taxpayer dollars to go towards anti-Semitic, discriminatory efforts against Israel."
Well said. And well done. More states are sure to follow.
Harold Berman - The Teacher