NC divests from Ben & Jerry’s, Unilever over boycott of Israel

A woman walks past the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream shop, Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in Burlington, Vt. Ben & Jerry's said Monday it was going to stop selling its ice cream in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and contested east Jerusalem, saying the sales in the territories sought by the Palestinians are "inconsistent with our values". (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

RALEIGH — North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell announced an updated its list of companies subject to divestment and contract restrictions for boycotting Israel with Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc. added to the list as well as its parent company Unilever and all its subsidiaries.

A state statute prohibits investments in companies boycotting Israel, and Folwell has ordered the divestment of $40 million in Unilever assets. He also instructed local governments and state agencies to avoid contracting with either company.

The move is in response to Ben & Jerry’s alleged boycott of Israel, and Folwell emphasized the importance of adhering to state law and policies, citing concerns about antisemitism and atrocities against the Israeli people.

“We have policies in place per state law that dictate how we should proceed on any holdings in the retirement system of companies that boycott Israel and their affiliates. We will follow our policies and the law,” Folwell said in a press release. “This is particularly important in this case as we have witnessed the atrocities perpetrated against the Israeli people. There is no place for antisemitism in this state or this country.”

The North Carolina Retirement Systems, managed by the Department of State Treasurer, oversees retirement benefits for over 1 million members and has investments totaling $117.9 billion.

About A.P. Dillon 1201 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_