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.