Amongst these urging Mr. DiNapoli to divest is the Nationwide Authorized and Coverage Heart, a conservative, nonprofit good-governance group in Washington that’s identified for digging up ethics violations on largely liberal targets. The group has additionally filed a grievance with the Inner Income Service about how the Ben and Jerry’s Basis has used its funds.
“We’re doing this as a result of any person has to carry the unbiased board of Ben & Jerry’s accountable for his or her anti-Semitic use of their platform and firm assets,” mentioned Tom Anderson, a director of the Nationwide Authorized and Coverage Heart.
A spokesman for Mr. DiNapoli mentioned on Thursday afternoon that the workplace had not acquired a letter from the group. New York’s state pension fund had about $118 million invested in Unilever, the spokesman mentioned.
Mr. Jope has tried to ease tensions over the matter. In late July, he despatched a letter to the Convention of Presidents of Main American Jewish Organizations to specific the corporate’s opposition to “any type of discrimination or intolerance.”
Mr. Jope additionally addressed the complicated relationship between Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s. After Unilever purchased the corporate in 2000, Ben & Jerry’s retained its personal board of administrators. That board has the best to “take selections in accordance with its social mission,” Mr. Jope wrote.
Ben & Jerry’s, which Mr. Cohen and Mr. Greenfield began in Vermont within the 1970s, has at all times promoted a progressive worldview, exemplified by tie-dyed T-shirts and ice-cream bars referred to as Peace Pops. The founders are now not on the four-member board, however its chair, Anuradha Mittal, says her position contains guaranteeing that Ben & Jerry’s units requirements for different firms.
A spokesman for Ben & Jerry’s, Sean Greenwood, declined to touch upon New Jersey’s determination.
State Senator Tom Kean, a Republican, mentioned the transfer demonstrated the success of the 2016 regulation he co-sponsored with State Senator Loretta Weinberg, a Democrat. The regulation prohibits public investments in firms that have interaction in boycotts, divestment or sanctions of Israel.