The Jerusalem Post

BDS unfairly singles out Israel, says State Dept.

- • By OMRI NAHMIAS Jerusalem Post Correspond­ent

Ned Price, US State Department spokesman, said the US administra­tion “firmly reject[s] the BDS movement, which unfairly singles out Israel.”

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Price was asked about the decision of ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s to boycott West Bank settlement­s and Jewish neighborho­ods in east Jerusalem by refusing to sell its products in those areas.

“I don’t have a reaction to offer regarding the actions of a private company,” he said, adding that he would “let this company speak for itself.

“But more broadly, what I will say is that we firmly reject the [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement, which unfairly singles out Israel,” said Price.

He went on to say that “while the Biden-Harris administra­tion will fully and always respect the First Amendment rights of our citizens, of the American people, the United States will be a strong partner in fighting efforts around the world that potentiall­y seek to delegitimi­ze Israel and will work tirelessly to support Israel’s further integratio­n into the internatio­nal community.

“The BDS movement unfairly singles out Israel,” he continued. “We will, consistent with the First Amendment rights of the American people, always work to be a strong partner to Israel and work with Israel to counter efforts to delegitimi­ze it around the world, just as we work with our partner Israel to further its economic prosperity.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Rep. Lee Zeldin condemned Ben & Jerry’s and its parent company, Unilever.

“The decision by Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s to target hundreds of thousands of Jewish customers abroad with this discrimina­tory boycott is a disgrace and a direct embrace of the anti-Israel BDS movement,” he said in a statement. “New York state must now follow the 2016 executive order that prohibits state agencies from conducting business with institutio­ns or companies that promote BDS, and requires the OGS commission­er to maintain and update a list of entities participat­ing in BDS.

“Both Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever need to be immediatel­y added to the OGS list, and the state needs to end any current business and suspend any future business with either company. Our state needs to follow its self-imposed standards, lead by example, and stand up to this anti-Israel and anti-Jewish discrimina­tion,” Zeldin said.

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