HomeInvestmentBoycotting Israel Isn’t Free Speech

Boycotting Israel Isn’t Free Speech

June was a terrible month for the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. On June 22, in Arkansas Times v. Waldrip, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals broadly upheld the constitutionality of anti-BDS laws. A week later Unilever , the multinational parent company of Ben & Jerry’s, overruled the boycott of Israel that the ice-cream company announced a year ago, and it gave the Israel-based licensee permanent ownership of Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream making in Israel and the West Bank. In a jab at the Vermont subsidiary’s leadership, Unilever noted it “repudiates unequivocally any form of discrimination or intolerance.”

Unilever had come under intense pressure over the boycott from consumers and state governments, many of which divested from it in their pension portfolios. As Gov. Ron DeSantis put it: “As a matter of law and principle, the State of Florida does not tolerate discrimination against . . . the Israeli people.” Florida is one of 35 states that enacted laws barring taxpayer money from being used to contract with or invest in companies that boycott Israel.

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