Breaking International News Breaking Travel News Business Travel Culinary Culture Investments Israel Breaking News News People Responsible Shopping Tourism Travel Wire News Trending Now USA Breaking News

Ben & Jerry’s Israel boycott costs its parent company $111 million

Ben & Jerry's Israel boycott costs its parent company $111 million.
Ben & Jerry's Israel boycott costs its parent company $111 million.
Written by Harry Johnson

The massive New York retirement fund, which invests over $800 million across Israel, had previously warned the company in July that the boycott would harm its own investments in Israel. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • Vermont-based ice-cream giant Ben & Jerry faces financial backlash over its boycott of Israel.
  • New York State Common Retirement Fund divests equity holdings in Ben & Jerry’s parent company.
  • The boycott , the group says, violates its own policies against the BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund announced that it will divest equity holdings in Ben & Jerry’s parent company, Unilever PLS, over the firm’s engagement in anti-Israel BDS activities.

“After a thorough review,” the fund said it will divest equity holdings in Unilever PLS. “Our review of the activities of the company, and its subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s, found they engaged in BDS activities under our pension fund’s policy,” Tom DiNapoli, comptroller for the retirement fund, said of its decision to cut ties with the liberal Vermont-based ice-cream giant.

The boycott, the group says, violates its own policies against the BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movement.

The massive New York retirement fund, which invests over $800 million across Israel, had previously warned the company in July that the boycott would harm its own investments in Israel

The boycott, which saw Ben & Jerry refusing to sell ice cream in the ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’ of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, has faced heavy backlash from many US pundits and lawmakers, as well as numerous Israeli officials. 

The boycott also drew mockery after Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen was confronted earlier this month about the choice of areas to boycott, with the company taking a stance against Israel, but not a state like Georgia, which the co-founders have claimed has major voting rights issues spurred on by Republican lawmakers. When asked why Georgia was not boycotted by the company, Cohen replied, “I don’t know.”

“By that reasoning, we should not sell ice cream anywhere,” he said. The company’s co-founders have described themselves as “proud Jews” who simply disagree with Israel policies. 

Unilever defended the boycott in August in a letter to the New York retirement fund, with CEO Alan Jope saying the company employs thousands in Israel and has millions invested there, but they do not interfere in the actions of “independent” boards.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for almost 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

Leave a Comment