The ice cream giant originally boycotted Israel in 2021.
State Treasurer David McRae today applauded Unilever for reversing Ben & Jerry’s ‘woke’ Israel boycott. Ben & Jerry’s is a subsidiary of Unilever. In December 2021, McRae joined six other state financial officers in challenging Unilever to hold its subsidiary accountable after Ben & Jerry’s unjustly boycotted Israel.
“Ben & Jerry’s decision to boycott Israel was motivated by a misdirected ‘woke’ agenda,” said Treasurer McRae. “I took that discriminatory economic attack on Israel seriously and applaud Unilever for having the mettle to reverse its subsidiary’s decision.”
In July 2021, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream announced it would no longer do business with Israel. Since then, a number of states ruled that Ben & Jerry’s decision constituted discriminatory action against America’s closest Middle East ally. The rulings triggered laws that prohibit states from investing in companies that boycott, divest, or sanction Israel. Mississippi passed one such law in 2019.
In his December letter, McRae wrote: “As State Treasurers, it is our duty to manage state assets in accordance with state law…. We respectfully request a response that provides full clarification and transparency regarding Unilever’s ability to override the discriminatory boycott of Israel initiated by Ben & Jerry’s.”