Washington (In Palestine Today)- The US states of Florida and Texas have threatened to impose sanctions against Ben & Jerry’s following its announcement to end sales in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the eastern part of Jerusalem.
The 46th Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis wrote a letter to the executive director of the state’s administrative board on Thursday, saying that if Ben & Jerry’s continued with its decision to end sales in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, the board will have to stop acquiring “any and all Unilever assets” in order to comply with the state’s anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) laws.
The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, as it defines itself, works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure ‘Israel’ to comply with international law.
“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,” DeSantis wrote in the letter.
DeSantis continued, “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.”
“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.”
DeSantis stated that such actions affirm the State of Florida’s relationship with the occupation state of ‘Israel’ and its commitment to “a swift response to those who discriminate against the Israeli people.”
Texas’ Republican Comptroller Glenn Hegar also said his office was investigating whether Ben & Jerry’s had violated laws that prohibit the state from contracting with entities that boycott the occupation state of ‘Israel’.
In a statement, Hegar claimed that Texans had “made it very clear that they stand with Israel and its people”.
“It is worth noting that thankfully Texans have much better options for a sweet treat this summer,” he added. “Blue Bell was founded in Brenham, Texas and tastes much better than the overpriced, stuck-up stuff made by a foreign-owned company started in Vermont.”
The Well-known American firm announced last week that it will no longer sell its products for settlements in the West Bank and the eastern part of Jerusalem.
The firm, known for its progressive activities, has been silent on social media since last May, when ‘Israel’ were bombarding the besieged Gaza strip, killing over 250 Palestinians, most of them were children and women.
The company said in a statement on its website “it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).”
Israel’s Ambassador to the US and UN Gilad Erdan on Tuesday said he has sent letters to the governors of the 35 American states that have anti-BDS laws, asking them to act against Ben & Jerry’s decision.
“I urged them to act against Ben & Jerry’s decision to not sell its products in the eastern part of Jerusalem and Judea & Samaria. We will make clear to Ben & Jerry’s that its antisemitic decision will have consequences,” Erdan tweeted.