Texas comptroller could blacklist Ben & Jerry’s decision to halt sales in West Bank and Gaza Strip
The Texas Comptroller’s Office said it would investigate whether the state should blacklist ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s for announcing it would no longer do business in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. .
The announcement by Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s office comes two days after Ben & Jerry’s said it would no longer sell ice cream in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory” – using the term recognized by the United Nations for describe the territories, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which have been occupied by Israel since 1967.
Ben & Jerry’s, which is well known for championing progressive causes, said in a written statement that the sale of ice cream in these territories was “inconsistent with our values.” The statement was released weeks after conflict left more than 200 dead, most of them civilians in the territories occupied by Israel.
Hegar said he had asked his staff to determine whether Ben & Jerry’s statement would violate Chapter 808 of the Texas government code, which prohibits the state from contracting to companies that support a boycott of Israel or “territory under Israeli control”.
“The Texans have made it clear that they are on the side of Israel and its people. We are against all those who wish to undermine the economy of Israel and its people, ”he said.
Ben & Jerry’s said that even if it would no longer sell ice cream in the territories occupied by Israel, it would remain in Israel under “a different arrangement”.
Chapter 808, which was enacted by Governor Greg Abbott in 2017, was intended to counter the boycott, divestment and sanction movement, which has encouraged companies to boycott Israel in an effort to change its policies and attitudes towards the Palestinians.
Nine companies were listed in Chapter 808 last June, according to a list maintained by the Office of the Comptroller.
In 2019, Texas blacklisted short-term rental site Airbnb after the company announced it would no longer allow Israeli-owned rentals in the West Bank. Airbnb then reversed its decision.