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

Texas has added Ben & Jerry's and its parent company, Unilever, to the state's list of companies that boycott Israel, KVUE-TV reported.

The decision, which was announced on Thursday by State Comptroller Glenn Hegar, says this action was made pursuant to Texas Government Code Chapter 808.

It defines "boycott Israel" as "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 in an Israeli-controlled territory...”

Hegar's office said the agency follows an established process when making decisions to add a business or company to this list.

“As with any of our listing decisions, my office, in cooperation with our research providers, carefully reviewed statements and activities by both Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever before concluding that they are suitable candidates for the Texas list,” Hegar said.

“Texas law is clear on this issue, and my office has long supported Israel through our Israel bond holdings as well as our lists of scrutinized companies with ties to Iran and those with ties to foreign terrorist organizations,” he added.

The decision follows Unilever’s controversial July 19 announcement that it will stop selling the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Judea and Samaria.

In response to the announcement, several US states have announced they would divest from Unilever. These include New Jersey, Arizona and Florida.

Illinois, Maryland, and Rhode Island are also considering divesting from Unilever.

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.

Israel’s Ambassador to the US and UN, Gilad Erdan, on Friday welcomed Texas’ announcement.

“Thank you Texas & Glenn Hegar! Your decision to add Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever to Texas's list of companies that boycott Israel is another move forward against the antisemitic boycott of Israel. Now, 4 states have said if you boycott Israel, we will boycott you,” he tweeted.

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