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12 attorneys general call on Ben & Jerry’s to reverse Israel Boycott

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The chief authorized officers of 12 states are urging Ben & Jerry’s to reverse its boycott of Israel within the disputed territories, calling the ice cream firm’s transfer “economic warfare.”

New York, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Florida have introduced the withdrawal of tons of of thousands and thousands of {dollars} in pension investments from Unilever — the mum or dad firm of Ben & Jerry’s.

The states have additionally enforced legal guidelines towards the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions motion towards Israel.

Meanwhile, a pro-Israel group, StandWithUS, has launched a $500,000 advert marketing campaign towards Unilver for participating in BDS actions it calls “corporate antisemitism.”

“If Unilever is so interested in virtue-signaling, why not announce a boycott of countries like China, Russia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, or especially Iran, who has promised the complete destruction of Israel?” mentioned Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who coordinated the joint letter despatched Monday to Unilever CEO Alan Jope that was co-signed by 11 different Republican state attorneys general.

“Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s should reverse their boycott immediately.”

In July, Ben & Jerry’s introduced that it might not renew a license to promote ice cream within the disputed territories such because the West Bank, which it described as “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

“We, the attorneys general of our respective states, write today to express our grave concerns about Unilever’s decision to engage in a boycott of the State of Israel. Not only is Israel one of our nation’s closest and most reliable allies, but it is also the only democratic nation in the region and has long been a force for peace and stability,” the attorneys general mentioned.

The letter notes that 33 states have handed anti-BDS statutes that “prohibit investment of public pension funds or the awarding of government procurement contracts to companies that boycott Israel.”

The chief authorized officers additionally argued that Unilever can’t sidestep accountability by claiming B&J is ruled by an unbiased board that may impose such a “radical” act on its personal.

“The assertion that the `tail wags the multi-billion dollar corporate dog strains credulity,” the letter says.

“As the chief legal officers of our states, we are charged with defending the laws passed by our state legislatures, and we also count it a high honor with the State of Israel against any and all illegal attempts by global corporations to engage in economic warfare against our ally.”

The letter ends with, “In keeping with the fiduciary duties required of Unilever under the laws of the United States and under the laws of the individual states represented by this letter, we respectfully urge you to reconsider the decision by you and your subsidiary to boycott Israel.”

The letter was signed by the attorneys general of Missouri, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James had no instant remark.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul not too long ago warned Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s that she’s going to implement an government order barring state entities from investing in corporations that interact in BDS actions towards Israel.

Unilever had no instant remark. But it has argued that B&J’s restricted boycott within the West Bank will not be a boycott of Israel.

“Unilever has a strong and longstanding commitment to our business in Israel. We employ nearly 2,000 people in the country across our four factories and head office, and we have invested approximately $250 million in the Israeli market over the last decade,” Jope mentioned in a latest letter to New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s workplace.

Ben and Jerry’s Jewish co-founders, Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield — who bought their namesake firm to Unilever in 2000 — defended the corporate’s resolution to finish gross sales within the area in a New York Times editorial in July, writing that Israel was one of many first nations that the corporate had expanded to internationally because it grew.

The founders, who known as themselves “proud Jews,” mentioned it’s “possible to support Israel and oppose some of its policies” simply as they’ve “opposed policies in the US government.”

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