After Arizona, New Jersey is to now divest funds from ice-cream maker Ben & Jerry’s and its parent company Unilever for its anti-Israel stance of not serving in “Occupied Palestinian Territory”.
On Tuesday, the director of the New Jersey Division of Investment penned a letter to Unilever CEO Alan Jope earlier this month notifying him that the state’s review of Ben & Jerry’s July boycott decision reached a preliminary conclusion that the company had breached local laws requiring divestment from firms that boycott Israel.
New Jersey authorities gave Unilever 90 days to convince Ben & Jerry’s to walk back the announcement before the state would move forward with the divestment of pension fund assets. Those pension funds amount to $90 billion in New Jersey, though it was not immediately clear what percentage is currently invested in Unilever, which is headquartered in the state.
So far eight states are known to have triggered similar reviews that could result in divesting from Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever. In addition to Arizona and New Jersey, New York, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Maryland and Rhode Island have launched formal proceedings.