Press Release: New York Jewish Leaders to Gov. Hochul: Don't Conflate Israel with the Occupied West Bank

Americans for Peace Now sent a letter on Monday signed by leading New York Jewish activists to Governor Kathy Hochul, protesting New York's conflation of the sovereign state of Israel and West Bank settlements.

The letter, signed by 150 leading pro-Israel pro-peace New York-based Jewish activists objects to a recent determination by the Commissioner of the Office of General Services of New York State that Ben & Jerry's boycott of West Bank settlements constitutes BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) against the state of Israel.

Under the auspices of a New York executive order prohibiting the state from investing in entities that participate in BDS, the Commissioner decided to restrict New York pension fund holdings from Ben and Jerry's parent company, Unilever PLC. The letter notes that the Commissioner's interpretation of the executive order is erroneous, because the order prohibits boycotting Israel but does not say anything about boycotts of West Bank settlements, which are not located in Israel. Ben & Jerry's boycott, the letter emphasizes, intentionally targets the settlements, while continuing to sell its products in sovereign Israel.

APN's President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: "Ben & Jerry's is doing exactly what supporters of peace should be doing: differentiating between Israel and the Occupied Territories."

To read the letter, click here.