Agudath Israel of America commends Governor Phil Murphy and the State of New Jersey for taking swift and formal action against Unilever, the parent company of Ben & Jerry’s, in response to Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop all sales in Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem, in violation of New Jersey state law.

In a letter to Unilever, Shoaib Khan, acting director and chief investment officer at New Jersey’s Division of Investment, wrote that New Jersey’s annuity and pension funds will longer invest in Unilever, and that New Jersey will take action to divest and withdraw any investment in the company, amounting to some $182 million.

New Jersey is the second state to take formal action against Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s for Ben & Jerry’s boycott. Other states that are investigating action under anti-BDS state laws or Executive Orders include New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Maryland, and Rhode Island.

Rabbi Avi Schnall, the director of Agudath Israel’s New Jersey office applauded the move, saying, “The BDS movement is rooted in antisemitism. New Jersey’s move is a powerful one, and Governor Murphy continues to lead the way in combating bigotry on all levels. We are grateful for his swift and bold response.”

Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel, added, “We call on all of the remaining states that have anti-BDS boycott statutes or Executive Orders to take action to enforce them against Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever, and to do so promptly. The lesson for all companies to learn is that if you boycott Israel, your company will be boycotted by many American states that will no longer do business with you or invest in your company. There is no more effective way to stop companies from supporting the anti-Israel and antisemitic BDS movement.”

Some twenty states have laws or Executive Orders that bar them from doing business with and/or investing in companies that boycott Israel, explicitly including the territories. At least a dozen more have laws or Executive Orders that prohibit the state from doing business with or investing in companies that are engaged in discriminatory boycotts Agudath Israel continues to call upon all of these states to take action against Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s.