Jewish Leaders Support Illinois’ Divestment from Unilever

New York, NY

. . . Dianne Lob, Chair, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:

"We commend the Illinois Investment Policy Board for its unanimous decision today to divest state pension funds of investments in Unilever. The Board’s action is in response to the company’s failure to hold its subsidiary, Ben & Jerry’s, accountable for unfairly targeting an Israeli licensee, which refused to engage in a Ben & Jerry’s boycott of Jews and Palestinians living in the West Bank. Unilever’s actions, or lack thereof, violate existing Illinois laws that prohibit government investment in entities that boycott Israel.
 
"We applaud this decision and advise any corporations considering similar actions to take into account the reputational damage, as well as the legal complications, associated with engaging with the bigoted Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement currently prohibited in a majority of US states in the form of adopted laws, executive orders, and resolutions.
 
"We call on Unilever to exercise its contractual right to overrule the misguided decision of the Board of Directors of its subsidiary, Ben & Jerry's. We continue to support legal efforts in over 30 states to hold to account companies that engage in similar boycotts of Israel and demand that Unilever publicly reject this shameful, discriminatory campaign."

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