New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is facing calls to follow through a promise he made several years ago that he would take action against those who boycott Israel.
How we got here: Ben & Jerry’s announced that it will stop selling its products in the West Bank, citing the presence of Jewish settlements in the area, as well as “concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners.”
The company said that selling products “in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)” was “inconsistent with our values”
Why it matters? So far, Cuomo has remained silent on the decision made by Ben & Jerry’s, despite his previous promises.
In 2016, the New York governor signed an executive order calling for divestment for companies that boycott Israel, including as part of the Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.
At the time, he promised that “If you boycott Israel, New York State will boycott you.”
In addition to delivering a public address, Cuomo also penned a Washington Post op-ed in which he announced the 2016 order.
“New York will identify institutions and companies, with the list made available to the public and updated regularly, that engage in boycotts, divestment or sanctions activity targeting Israel, either directly or through a parent or subsidiary. All state funds will then be divested from such entities,” Cuomo wrote.
What they’re saying: Now, lawmakers in New York are calling on Cuomo to follow through on his promise.
“I call on him to enforce his order that bans the State of New York from doing business with companies that engage in the anti-Semitic BDS movement,” Rep. Elise Stefanik told The New York Post.
“With so many new members in the legislature and the disturbing rise in anti-Semitic attacks in our city, it’s critically important for the state to reinforce its position and show support for members of our Jewish community,” added Staten Island Republican Nicole Malliotakis.
The response: Rich Azzopardi, a spokesperson for Cuomo’s office, told the publication that “this is under legal review.”
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