DeSantis Takes a Tough Line On Companies Boycotting Israel

Last Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis asked the State Board of Management to add Ben & Jerry’s (and its mother firm Unilever) to the government’s subject to scrutiny companies list.

DeSantis Is Taking A Stong line Against Any Company That Doesn’t Follow Florida Discrimination Laws

Ben & Jerry’s (a prominent ice cream company that frequently mixes political and business activities) declared that it will no longer sell frozen yogurt in Judea and Samaria, also referred to as Israel’s West Bank.

DeSantis stated this in an email sent to the board that the selling of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Judea and Samaria is incompatible with the principles for the ice cream company to be marketed in the Israeli Occupied Palestinian Territory. This was according to the ice cream firm.

Florida prohibits the state from participating in any corporation that supports the anti-Israel Boycotting, Disinvestment, and Sanction (BDS) campaign. Promoting protests against Israel is illegal in many US jurisdictions, with detractors accusing the BDS campaign of being racist.

Florida has had a special connection with Israel for a long time, De Santis pointed out. The state of Florida may not accept prejudice against the Israeli state or the Israeli population. This particularly includes strikes, protests, and divestments targeting Israel, as a point of practice and policy, DeSantis commented.

DeSantis said it has reached his knowledge that Ben & Jerry’s declared their decision to eliminate its goods from Judea and Samaria and prevent the selling of its ice cream.

These activities by Ben & Jerry’s come firmly within the scope of the Florida laws forbidden conduct. Unilever, a publicly listed business in which Florida has numerous assets, owns 100% of Ben & Jerry’s.

Florida Will Add the Ice Cream Company and Unilever to a List of Companies that Discriminate Against Jews

As a result, DeSantis is demanding that the State Board of Government (SBA) add Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever to the Ongoing Evaluation Firms that Ban Israel list. DeSantis will also start the process of adding Ben & Jerry’s, and by default the parent company Unilever, to the Scrutinized Firms that Protest Israel List, he told reporters.

If the State Board of Administration proactively places Unilever and its major corporations on the investigated list (and they do not end their boycotting of Israel as mandated by Florida law), the Council must desist from purchasing any and all Unilever properties, according to DeSantis.

These steps reaffirm Florida’s partnership with Israel and the state’s dedication to take prompt action against anyone who prejudices against Israelis. Israel’s Envoy to the Nations and the United States, Gilad Erdan, has asked US regions that prohibit BDS efforts towards Israel to penalize Ben & Jerry’s.

Ben & Jerry’s boycotting of Israeli areas, according to Erdan, is antisemitic and leads to the marginalization of the Jewish population.