On Wednesday, June 1, 16 Jewish and Christian pro-Israel organizations with large constituencies in New York State sent a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul and Office of General Services Commissioner Jeanette Moy, urging them to act against the continuing anti-Semitic boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) actions by Unilever PLC and its wholly owned subsidiary, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc. The text of the letter can be viewed here.
The 16 organizations signing the letter include: Americans Against Anti-Semitism (AAA); the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA); Students Supporting Israel (SSI); AMIT; Emunah; Coalition for Jewish Values; EZRA USA National Movement; Stop Anti-Semitism; North American Board of Rabbis; Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN); Rabbinical Alliance of America; The Lawfare Project; Israel Heritage Foundation; One Israel Fund; Conference of Jewish Affairs; and Americans for a Safe Israel. (AAA organized the letter. The ZOA authored the letter.)
The letter urges Governor Hochul to follow through on her 90-day warning, sent to Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s on November 12, 2021, that Unilever’s and Ben & Jerry’s’ BDS actions targeting Israel appear to require them to be placed on New York’s list of companies that New York is required to divest from. The Governor gave Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s 90 days to explain why they should not be barred from New York State investments.
Over three months have passed since the Governor’s 90-day deadline. More than ten months have passed since Ben & Jerry’s instituted its anti-Semitic boycott. Unilever has refused to override the boycott, even though Unilever has the power and obligation to do so. Meanwhile, other states and the New York Comptroller acted forcefully against Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s. New York State needs to finally take decisive action, by placing Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s on the New York boycott list.
BDS leaders admit that the goal of BDS is to destroy Israel. The Ben & Jerry’s boycott is effectively a boycott of all of Israel, because under Israeli law, Ben & Jerry’s franchisees and stores cannot legally abide by a boycott against Jews in Jerusalem and Judea-Samaria.