Ben & Jerry's ice cream parlor
Ben & Jerry's ice cream parlor iStock

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Wednesday welcomed the state of New Jersey’s decision to divest from Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s over its boycott of Israel.

On Tuesday, New Jersey’s state Division of Investment announced that New Jersey plans to divest investments in the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s, Unilever, after an internal investigation found the ice cream company sought to boycott Israel.

“We commend Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Treasury Division of Investment for preliminarily determining that the boycott of Israel by Unilever subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s violates state law,” said Dianne Lob, Chair, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair of the Conference of Presidents.

“New Jersey is responding to Ben & Jerry’s decision to end its relationship with its Israeli licensee because the licensee refused to engage in a boycott of the Jews and Palestinians who live in the West Bank. We again call on Unilever, whose North American headquarters is located in New Jersey, to exercise its contractual right to overrule the discriminatory decision of the Board of its Ben & Jerry’s subsidiary,” they added.

“Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee announced last week that the State of Arizona will divest millions of dollars in funds it holds in Unilever bonds. New Jersey is one of thirty-three states that took action penalizing companies that engage in a boycott of Israel. We call on other states to take similar action and continue to demand Unilever reject this biased effort that singles out Israel alone and supports this bigoted boycott,” the statement concluded.

Unilever caused an uproar with its controversial July 19 announcement that it will stop selling the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Judea and Samaria.

Several other states have announced they will be taking action against Ben & Jerry’s, including Texas, Illinois, Maryland, Florida, and Rhode Island.

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 that they no longer control the company but approve of the move to stop selling the ice cream in Judea and Samaria.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Yom Kippur in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)