September 15, 2021 — Millburn, New Jersey
American Jewish Committee (AJC) applauds the preliminary determination by the New Jersey Department of Treasury’s Division of Investment that Ben & Jerry’s and its parent company, Unilever, have engaged in a boycott of Israel. Under New Jersey’s 2016 law on Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS), state pension funds must divest from investments in any business that engages in boycotts of Israel.
Ben & Jerry’s announced in July that it would end stop selling its ice cream in the West Bank. AJC supported a letter signed by Ben & Jerry’s franchisees in the United States calling on the company to “re-examine and withdraw” its decision.
AJC, the leading global Jewish advocacy organization, has long fought BDS efforts as a simplistic, wrong-headed response to a complex situation which singles out Israel for condemnation.
“The BDS movement does nothing to advance the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace,” said Rabbi David Levy, Director of AJC New Jersey. “By putting Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s parent company, on notice, the Division of Investment has taken the first step in New Jersey’s recognition that the company is violating New Jersey law.”
Unilever has 90 days to respond to the New Jersey Treasury Department’s Division of Investment letter. “We hope Unilever is inspired to reverse Ben & Jerry’s misguided decision,” Levy added.