Texas, Florida Consider Ending Business Relationships with Ben & Jerry's Parent Company over Israel Boycott

  Amanda Casanova | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Friday, July 23, 2021
Texas, Florida Consider Ending Business Relationships with Ben & Jerry's Parent Company over Israel Boycott

Texas and Florida may cut off their business partnerships with Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry's, over the company's decision to stop selling ice cream in "Occupied Palestinian Territory."

This week, Texas State Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced that his staff will be looking into whether Unilever violates the state's anti-Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, CBN News reports.

"If it is determined that Ben & Jerry's or Unilever has engaged in any activities proscribed under Chapter 808 of the Texas Government Code, my office will take all appropriate and required actions consistent with our policies and procedures," Glenn Hegar said in a statement.

In 2017, Texas passed a law requiring the state to divest pension funds from companies boycotting Israel or Israeli settlement communities in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The law says boycotts include "refusing to deal with, terminating business activities with, or otherwise taking any action that is intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on or limit commercial relations specifically with Israel or with a person or entity doing business in Israel or an Israeli-controlled territory."

Under the law, companies that boycott Israel are blacklisted from other contracts with the state.

"Texans have made it very clear that they stand with Israel and its people. We oppose actions that could undermine Israel's economy and its people," Hegar said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week also asked that the State Board of Administration "immediately place Ben & Jerry's and Unilever on the Continued Examination Companies that Boycott Israel List" and initiate the process to place both companies "on the Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List."

"As you know, Florida has long had a strong relationship with the State of Israel," DeSantis wrote in a letter to the State Board of Administration. "As a matter of law and principle, the State of Florida does not tolerate discrimination against the State of Israel or the Israeli people, including boycotts and divestments targeting Israel.

Ben & Jerry's made waves this week when it announced it would stop selling its products in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem because continuing to do so is "inconsistent with its values."

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/MmeEmil

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.