Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry'sצילום: Flash90

The mayor of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, the location of the North American headquarters of Unilever, on Monday called on the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s to reverse its decision to boycott Judea and Samaria.

In a letter addressed to Unilever CEO Alan Jope, Mayor Mario M. Kranjac urged Unilever to “reconsider” Ben & Jerry’s decision, expressing his “deep concern” with the move. He called it not only “disturbing, but… also a violation of New Jersey’s anti-BDS laws.”

“I strongly encourage you to reevaluate your company’s position and to treat everyone fairly without the virtue signalling that ultimates creates unfair treatment,” he wrote.

He said that his community is “grateful” and “fortunate” for the presence of Unilever’s headquarters in their city but “discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated.”

He also noted that “this has gone too far.”

“Israel is one of the most democratic and free countries in the world,” he wrote. “It is a beacon of freedom in the Middle East, and one of America’s greatest allies. It concerns me that your company is so quick to chastise Israel, while continuing to support and profit from other countries and movements that daily committed substantial human rights violations, genocide, unlawful imprisonment, forced ‘re-education,’ and race-based classifications.”

He encouraged Unilever to abide by its corporate mission statement: “To add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs to nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life.”

Kranjac said that Englewood Cliffs stands with Israel against Ben & Jerry’s boycott.

“We will not remain silent on my watch,” he said. “In fact we will stand with anyone that is wrongly targeted.”

Ben & Jerry’s is a wholly-owned autonomous subsidiary of Unilever. It was acquired by Unilever in 2000.

On July 19, Ben & Jerry’s announced that it would no longer sell its ice cream in what it called the “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

Unilever’s Englewood Cliffs headquarters employs 1,600 people.