TALLAHASSEE, FL – Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis has weighed in on the recent decision by Ben & Jerry’s – and their parent company Unilever – to no longer sell its products in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, saying that, “the State of Florida does not tolerate discrimination against the State of Israel.”
DeSantis penned a letter on Thursday to the State Board Administration, insisting that Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever be placed on state’s “Continued Examination Companies that Boycott Israel List” that would then open the doors for the two companies to then be transferred to the “Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List,” which would then prohibit government contracts or investments.
“As you know, Florida has long had a strong relationship with the State of Israel,” DeSantis said in the letter. “As a matter of law and principle, the State of Florida does not tolerate discrimination against the State of Israel or the Israeli people, including boycotts and divestments targeting Israel.”
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Earlier this week, the progressive management at Vermont-based ice cream company announced via a statement on their website that they would still be selling products in Israel, but are planning on pulling its products from stores located in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
“We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” the company said. “We also hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners.”
Some have taken the announcement by Ben & Jerry’s as an “anti-Israel policy,” including Israel’s president, Isaac Herzog, who said that the company’s decision amounted to “a new type of terrorism.”
In addition, Texas has also announced that they may be following in Florida’s footsteps and are considering similar potential sanctions against Ben & Jerry’s.