Florida halts new investments in Ben & Jerry’s parent company over West Bank sales boycott


(JTA) — Florida state entities will cease new investments in Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s parent company, as of Tuesday, because the ice cream maker plans to stop selling its product in the West Bank.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, in July triggered a 90-day review mandated by Florida law which mandates divestment from companies boycotting Israel. Ben & Jerry’s says it is ending its sales only in the West Bank and is seeking the means to continue sales in Israel, but Florida law does not make the distinction between Israel and the West Bank.

As of today, the 90-day review, during which companies may notify Florida of any plans to reverse course, ends. Unilever, which has disavowed the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, has previously said it has no control over Ben & Jerry’s business decisions, due to an internal agreement between the conglomerate and the ice cream manufacturer’s independent board.

The ruling over new investments does not affect the $39 million Florida already has invested in Unilever, the Florida Politics website reported.

At least eight states have initiated reviews of investments in Unilever in the wake of Ben & Jerry’s West Bank pullout.

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