The leftist socialist activists at Ben & Jerry’s have been dealt the first of what may be many crushing blows to their company over their decision to boycott Israel.
Arizona has become the first state to deliver consequences to the radical brand for its actions.
While speaking out against the actions of Israel is not, in itself, anti-Semitic, there is a long history of antisemitism associated with movements focused on boycotting the country.
As the only democracy in the Middle East, and one of the United States’ most important allies, Israel has been attacked nonstop since the country was re-formed after WWII. Many of the majority-Muslim countries surrounding Israel have vowed to destroy the tiny nation, and many radicals on the left support that destruction.
Ben & Jerry’s, an ice cream company known for its radical left-wing activism, has decided to stop selling its ice cream in Israeli occupied territories. On July 19th, the company announced that continuing to sell its products in these territories was “inconsistent with our values.”
These so-called occupied territories have been a contentious subject in the political arena. Renowned Harvard professor and legal scholar Alan Dershowitz explains this issue best. Watch this 4 minute video:
Ben & Jerry’s, which is based in Vermont, is owned by a London-based global consumer products company called Unilever. Despite this, the ice cream company maintains its own independent board, and makes its own decisions regarding its activism.
In response to the boycott from Ben & Jerry’s, Arizona has sold off $93 million in Unilever bonds, and is planning to sell the remaining $50 million the state has invested in the company over its subsidiary’s decision.
This decision was actually mandated by the state’s laws. In Arizona, government agencies are barred from holding investments in — or doing more than $100,000 in business with — any firm that boycotts the nation of Israel or its territories.
Arizona is one of 35 states with these anti-boycott laws. It is not the first state to threaten to use them, but it is the first state to actually fully divest itself from Ben & Jerry’s.
The New York Post reports: “Illinois warned the company in July that it had 90 days after its investment board met to change course or it too would sell. Florida and other states have taken similar action, according to IAC For Action, the policy and legislative arm for the Israeli-American Council.”