US/World News

Pro-Israel groups urge NY to divest from Unilever

(JNS) Sixteen Jewish and Christian pro-Israel groups are urging New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to take decisive action against Unilever and its subsidiary, Ben & Jerry’s, for the ice-cream maker’s July 2021 decision to stop selling its products in “Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Under an executive order, New York State must divest funds from companies that boycott Israel. In a letter sent to Hochul and the Office of General Services commissioner Jeanette M. Moy earlier this month, the groups asked the governor to make good on her November threat to add Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s to a list of companies from which New York must divest.

Hochul had given the ice-cream maker and its owner 90 days to explain why they should not be on that list, but that deadline has long since passed.

“Anti-Jewish attacks often start with boycotts,” said ZOA national president Morton A. Klein. “As a child of Holocaust survivors, I keep in mind that the Nazis’ atrocities began with their 1933 boycott of Jewish businesses. … Placing Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s on New York’s BDS list will demonstrate that New York has zero tolerance for antisemitism and antisemitic boycotts.”

Besides the ZOA, signatories to the letter include Americans Against Antisemitism; Students Supporting Israel; AMIT; Emunah; Coalition for Jewish Values; EZRA USA National Movement;; North American Board of Rabbis; Proclaiming Justice to the Nations; Rabbinical Alliance of America; The Lawfare Project; Israel Heritage Foundation; One Israel Fund; Conference of Jewish Affairs; and Americans for a Safe Israel.

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