New Jersey supports Israel’s policies – sanctions Ben & Jerry’s

After the company said it would no longer sell its ice cream in the occupied territories, New Jersey invoked a law that prohibits public investments in companies that engage in boycotts…

The state’s Division of Investment sent a letter this week to Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s whose American headquarters are in New Jersey, explaining that a state law passed in 2016 prohibited the investment of state pension funds in businesses that engaged in boycotts.

To my knowledge, all of the states with similar laws have only used it against firms boycotting Israel.

The move came as a response to Ben & Jerry’s announcement in mid-July that it would stop selling its products in the occupied Palestinian territories. “We believe it is inconsistent with our values for our product to be present within an internationally recognised illegal occupation,” the company said on its website.

I’m only a still small voice and my healthful regimen doesn’t include ice cream. Nevertheless, next grocery shopping, I will buy some Ben & Jerry’s. I will enjoy it. And maybe I’ll email an iPhone snap of the empty container to the Attorney General of the Garden State.

21 thoughts on “New Jersey supports Israel’s policies – sanctions Ben & Jerry’s

  1. Meanwhile says:

    Palestinian children traumatized by Israeli home invasions : Rights groups and medical advocates say that Israeli raids are having a dire effect on the mental health of Palestinian children. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/23/palestinian-children-left-traumtised-by-israeli-home-invasions
    A report titled A Life Exposed published late last year by three Israeli human rights organizations – Physicians for Human Rights Israel, Yesh Din and Breaking the Silence – documented the grievous mental health repercussions, including on children, of Israeli raids on Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank.
    Citing the report, alongside other research, an editorial in the BMJ Paediatrics Open journal published last week said that the way the home invasions are conducted is a violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – which Israel has ratified.
    “Home invasions by the Israeli military are characterized by unjustifiable and excessive use of force, arbitrariness, unpredictability and frequency, leaving families and individuals vulnerable to the decisions of soldiers, who hold immense power,” the editorial stated.
    “They inflict psychological damage on both individuals and communities, as they involve a sudden, forced intrusion into the victims’ private space along with a real threat of physical harm.”
    The editorial also said that the forcible home invasions come amid already high levels of trauma, citing research that suggested the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among children living in the occupied West Bank is estimated to be 34.1 percent to 50.4 percent, compared with an average of 6.8 percent to 12.2 percent worldwide.

    BMJ Paediatrics Open: “Mental health impact on children of forcible home invasions in the occupied Palestinian territory” https://bmjpaedsopen.bmj.com/content/bmjpo/5/1/e001062.full.pdf

  2. Update says:

    ● “Florida to pull $139 million in Ben & Jerry’s investments over Israel boycott” https://www.wfla.com/news/florida/florida-to-pull-139-million-in-ben-jerrys-investments-over-israel-boycott/
    ● “Arizona to end investment in Ben & Jerry’s parent company after ice cream sales decision” https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona/2021/09/08/arizona-anti-israel-boycott-law-leads-to-disinvestment-unilever-ben-and-jerrys/5760912001/
    ● “Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar has designated Ben & Jerry’s as a company that boycotts Israel under a law that forbids state investments in firms that take adverse action against the U.S. ally.” https://www.statesman.com/story/news/2021/09/23/texas-designates-ben-jerrys-company-boycotts-israel/5835078001/ Ben & Jerry’s insisted that it was not boycotting Israel, noting that it will continue doing business in the nation, though not in the West Bank or parts of contested East Jerusalem, after its current licensing agreement expires at the end of 2022.
    ● “Now Ben & Jerry’s Finds Itself Facing a Real Boycott : The latest Ben & Jerry’s headache isn’t settlers switching to Häagen-Dazs but U.S. states divesting Unilever stock. The law that requires them to do that is absurd” (Haaretz, Israel) https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.HIGHLIGHT-now-ben-jerry-s-finds-itself-facing-a-real-boycott-in-america-1.10231699

  3. I scream says:

    (Times of Israel, July 20, 2021) “Ben & Jerry’s did the right thing : Boycotting the settlements is not boycotting Israel, it is reaffirming the need to end the occupation based on a negotiated two-state solution” https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/ben-jerrys-did-the-right-thing/
    “UN blacklists companies with ties to Israeli settlements : The Foreign Ministry said it was cutting off ties with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Michelle Bachelet, which had compiled the list.” (Feb 12, 2020) https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/un-publishes-blacklist-of-companies-with-ties-to-israeli-settlements-617384
    “Among those companies listed were major international food conglomerate General Mills, which produces world-renowned brands such as Cheerio’s cereal and Häagen-Dazs ice cream”
    “Haagen-Dazs Under Attack in Israel” (Jan 16, 2012) https://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/01/haagen-dazs-under-attack-in-israel A recent notice warned that the State Rabbinical Authority has not approved the American ice cream, saying it is made with unsupervised liquid milk, as opposed to powdered milk. Stores now reportedly risk losing their kosher licenses if they continue to sell Haagen-Dazs, “a severe infringement of kashrut [kosher] procedures.” [Reportedly Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is made with powdered milk]
    See also https://eideard.com/2012/01/15/haagen-dazs-ice-cream-to-be-banned-in-israel-because-it-is-made-with-real-milk-wtf/

  4. p/s says:

    Israel’s government has declared six Palestinian civil society groups supported by the international community as terrorist organizations, prompting dismay among human rights campaigners. https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/22/europe/israel-palestinian-civil-society-groups-intl/index.html
    As a consequence of the declaration, Israeli security forces are authorized to close the groups’ offices, seize their assets and arrest and jail their staff members. Funding or even publicly expressing support for their activities is also prohibited. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/10/22/israel-palestinian-human-rights-groups-terrorism
    “This appalling and unjust decision is an attack by the Israeli government on the international human rights movement,” Amnesty and Human Rights Watch said in a joint statement https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/10/israel-opt-designation-of-palestinian-civil-society-groups-as-terrorists-a-brazen-attack-on-human-rights/#Palestine
    US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters Friday afternoon Washington was seeking more information from Israel over the basis for the designations, adding the US had not been warned in advance an announcement was coming.
    Several members of the US House of Representatives denounced Israel’s move

  5. Beat goes on says:

    Occupied East Jerusalem – A few metres away from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound’s eastern walls lies the centuries-old Al-Yousufiya Cemetery, also known as the Bab al-Asbat (Lion’s Gate) Cemetery.
    Over the past few weeks, videos and images of Palestinians clinging to their family members’ graves as Israeli forces arrest, beat, and attempt to forcibly pull them away have widely circulated on social media.
    Israeli occupation authorities in Jerusalem have been moving ahead with plans to build a Jewish “national park” set to open in mid-2022 over parts of the cemetery, which spans more than 14 dunams (1.4 hectares/3½ acres) of land.
    Three weeks ago, workers from the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem municipality and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority exposed human remains during excavations, causing outrage and unleashing continuous protests and prayers at the site.
    At least three Palestinians were wounded and seven detained on Friday following Muslim prayers at the site, in addition to dozens of others over the past few weeks.
    https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2021/10/31/palestinians-vow-to-defend-graves-in-jerusalem-cemetery

  6. Stand up says:

    Houston contractor sues Texas over state ban of Israel boycott : Palestinian American doing business with the city of Houston for 17 years is challenging Texas anti-BDS law. https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/11/2/houston-contractor-sues-in-texas-over-state-ban-of-israel-boycott
    A Houston company has sued the state of Texas saying the state’s ban on doing business with companies that participate in a boycott of Israel is unconstitutional.
    A&R Engineering and Testing Inc filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court in Houston on October 29 arguing that Texas’s anti-boycott law is a violation of its free speech right guaranteed under the US Constitution’s First Amendment.
    The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement seeks to generate international economic pressure on Israel to change its treatment of Palestinians. In the US, the movement is active on college campuses, echoing the anti-apartheid boycotts of South Africa in the 1980s.
    Opponents of the BDS movement who support Israel view it as anti-Semitic and designed to destroy Israel’s economy. In 2017, the Texas legislature adopted an anti-BDS law that requires contractors with the state and local governments not to boycott Israel.

  7. Update says:

    “The founders of Ben & Jerry’s said on Sunday that the renowned ice cream maker’s parent company Unilever had violated the merger between the two companies, after it sold its business in Israel to a local licensee, avoiding restrictions on the sale of the socially conscious ice cream company’s products in the occupied West Bank.
    “That agreement gave authority over the social mission to the independent board of Ben & Jerry’s. Unilever has usurped their authority and reversed the decision that was made and we can’t allow that to happen, we can’t sit idly by,” Ben Cohen said in a televised interview on the American media outlet MSNBC.
    Cohen’s business partner, Jerry Greenfield, said the agreement, signed in 2000, is legally binding and needs to be adhered to.
    Unilever, in contrast, has said that it retained the right to make operational decisions for Ben & Jerry’s and that the sale could not be undone because it has irrevocably closed.” https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/19/ben-jerrys-says-unilever-violating-deal-over-israel-sale

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