Months after the Israeli-Palestinian conflict hit its climax, the popular Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company has officially engaged in the controversial discrimination against Israel by pulling their products from its’ Judea and Samaria region.
Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has responded to the progressive ice cream makers from Vermont’s boycott of Israel and has called on the 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.
DeSantis has been an avid supporter of Israel since his initial campaign for governor in 2018. Since then he has received the Zionist Hero Award and the Champion of Israel award in 2019 and 2021.
As of recently, DeSantis seems to have a very diplomatic relationship with Israel, as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) not only assisted in the Surfside building collapse rescue effort but also called the governor to offer assistance before calling President Joe Biden (D).
Here is the letter Ron DeSantis sent to Ben & Jerry’s:
Mr. Ash WilliamsExecutive DirectorState Board of Administration of Florida1801 Hermitage Boulevard, Suite 100Tallahassee, Florida 32317Dear Mr. Williams,As you know, Florida has long had a strong relationship with the State of Israel. 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.It has come to my attention that Ben & Jerry’s has announced plans to remove its products and prohibit the sale of its ice cream in Judea and Samaria. These actions taken by Ben & Jerry’s fall squarely within the prohibited activities defined by Section 215.4725(1)(a), Florida Statutes. Ben & Jerry’s is a wholly owned subsidiary of Unilever, a publicly traded company in which Florida holds multiple investments.Therefore, I am requesting the State Board of Administration (SBA) immediately place Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever on the Continued Examination Companies that Boycott Israel List, and initiate the process to place Ben & Jerry’s, and by extension Unilever, on the Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List. Please provide an update on the status of this process to me and the other Trustees as soon as possible.Should the State Board of Administration affirmatively place Unilever and its corporate entities on the Scrutinized Companies List and these companies do not cease the boycott of Israel as required by Florida law, the Board must refrain from acquiring any and all Unilever assets consistent with the law.These actions affirm the State of Florida’s relationship with the State of Israel and our commitment to a swift response to those who discriminate against the Israeli people.Sincerely,Ron DeSantis
In Washington, D.C., State Department spokesman Ned Price declined to comment directly on the company’s decision. But he said the U.S. rejects the boycott movement against Israel, saying it “unfairly singles out” the country.