Following a call by Maryland Jewish organizations for the state government to review if it has contracts with Ben & Jerry’s, Maryland Secretary of State John C. Wobensmith has announced it will be doing exactly that.
In a letter addressed to Howard Libit, executive director of the Baltimore Jewish Council, and to Ronald Halber, executive director of the JCRC of Greater Washington, Wobensmith said that Maryland will be reviewing its contracts to determine if Ben & Jerry’s, and parent company Unilever, have any existing contracts with the State of Maryland, and promised to respond accordingly.
Ben & Jerry’s has been under increased scrutiny since its July 19 announcement that, beginning in 2023, it would end its contract with its current licensee in Israel in order to end the sale of its products in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory” when its current license agreement expires.
“The State of Maryland values our decades-long relationship with Israel and is proud of the significant achievements we have made through cooperation and collaboration between our two regions,” said Wobensmith. “Please continue to be assured that Maryland is committed to diversity and inclusion and ardently opposes any form of discrimination based on religion, national origin, place of residence or ethnicity – including boycotts of people or entities because of their Israeli national origin, or residence or incorporation in Israel and its territories.”