Agudath Israel applauds Unilever’s announcement today that it has sold its Ben & Jerry’s business interests to its Israeli licensee to end Ben & Jerry’s antisemitic BDS practices there.
Last summer, as part of its social mission, Ben & Jerry’s decided to refuse sale of its products in parts of Israel, including East Jerusalem. At that time, Agudath Israel and other groups called on Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s to reverse the boycott.
Ben & Jerry’s controversial move led to significant legal and financial woes for it and its parent company, including lost business interests in many states which divested their pension funds of Unilever. Agudath Israel reiterates its commendation of those states and localities which responded to this boycott by cutting their financial relationships with Unilever based on their anti-BDS laws.
Agudath Israel’s position has always been that the BDS movement is a manifestation of animus against Jews as a people. We are on longstanding record as advocating for anti-BDS laws across the United States, and have defended their constitutionality in courts of law. Most recently, Agudath Israel filed a brief defending the constitutionality of Arkansas’ anti-BDS law. Last week, the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld that position.