SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois regulators plan to warn the owner of Ben & Jerry’s to reverse the company’s decision to stop selling ice cream in the West Bank and East Jerusalem or face divestment by the state, an official said Wednesday.
The Israeli Boycott Restrictions Committee of the Illinois Investment Policy Board will meet to approve setting a 90-day deadline for Unilever to reverse the decision by Ben & Jerry’s, committee chairman Andy Lappin said.
There is no date set for the meeting but it will be called specifically to address the July 19 announcement by the Vermont-based confection-maker that continuing to market its product in Palestinian-sought territories is “inconsistent with our values.”
It’s considered one of the strongest condemnations by a well-known company of Israel’s policy of settling citizens on war-won lands. Lappin said that “the egregious nature of the statement is almost unprecedented.”
The Illinois Investment Policy Board monitors compliance with state law prohibiting the investment in certain companies that do business with Iran and Sudan as well as companies that boycott Israel.
“We’ll meet in the next week or so just for this issue, asking the board to send a letter to Unilever giving it 90 days to confirm or deny” Ben & Jerry’s stance, Lappin said. “In this case, it was a blatantly open statement made by the chairman of Ben & Jerry’s and we need to determine if Unilever deems it appropriate to walk the statement back.”
July 28, 2021 at 10:44PM