In response to Unilever's statement this week condemning BDS and ensuring that Ben & Jerry's ice cream will continue to be available in Israel, Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) President and CEO, Eric Fingerhut, released the following statement and Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey's Exective Director, Susan Antman, provided context on the role that New Jersey's Jewish Federations played in this situation:
"There is no place for the BDS movement or any other form of antisemitism in the corporate sector. We are pleased that after nearly a year of advocacy efforts and direct engagement, Unilever has clearly repudiated BDS and antisemitism and moved to ensure that it will not participate in discriminatory boycotts in Israel... Peace will come about through direct negotiations between the parties, not through the singling out and boycotting of one side."
"We thank Unilever for explicitly stating that 'antisemitism has no place in any society' and that they 'have never expressed any support for the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement and have no intention of changing that position.'
"Jewish Federations in New Jersey are proud to have played a key role in the Unilever case by virtue of our state's anti-BDS law enacted in 2016 following successful advocacy by our NJ Federations and invoked in this case."
The law prohibits the state from investing pension and annuity funds in companies that boycott, divest, or sanction Israel or Israeli businesses.
Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey's Jewish Community Relations Council builds relationships and advocates for Jewish interests throughout the Jewish community and beyond. To get involved, please contact Dan Rozett, Manager of Community Relations and Israel Engagement.