Florida won’t put any state money into Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s, unless it reverses its decision to stop selling ice cream in Judea and Samaria, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.
DeSantis said that the State Board of Administration added Unilever to its list of “scrutinized companies” that boycott Israel, meaning that if Ben & Jerry’s position on Israel is not reversed in 90 days, Florida will not invest in or contract with Unilever or its subsidiaries.
“As a matter of law and principle, the state of Florida will not tolerate discrimination against the state of Israel or the Israeli people,” he said in a news release quoted by AP. “I will not stand idly by as woke corporate ideologues seek to boycott and divest from our ally, Israel.”
Monday’s statement comes days after DeSantis called on the Florida State Board of Administration (SBA) to 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.
Several states have already taken action against Ben & Jerry’s following its parent company’s controversial July 19 announcement that it will stop selling its ice cream in Judea and Samaria.
The Texas State Comptroller announced that the government is examining whether the Ben & Jerry's ice cream company violated the state's anti-BDS laws.
In Illinois, regulators said they plan to warn the owner of Ben & Jerry’s to reverse the company's decision or face divestment by the state.
Maryland Secretary of State John C. Wobensmith on Monday confirmed in a letter to the leadership of the Jewish communities of Baltimore and Greater Washington that Maryland “will review State contracts to determine whether Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever have existing contracts with the State of Maryland and the State will respond accordingly.”
In addition, a number of supermarket chains have announced that they will no longer stock Ben & Jerry's products following the controversial decision. They include Glatt Express Supermarket, Seasons, Morton Williams Supermarkets, Gristede’s Supermarkets, and others.
The company’s founders, Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, said in a New York Times opinion piece last week that they no longer control the company but approve of the move to stop selling the ice cream in Judea and Samaria.