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Guatemala hosting pro-Israel regional forum

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A banner flown over the factory headquarters of Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont was tagged ‘BDS Is Hate’. (Photo: Israeli-American Council)

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The Israeli-American Council (IAC) flew a banner over Ben & Jerry’s factory and global headquarters in South Burlington, VT reading “Serve Ice Cream, Not Hate,” the social media hashtag #BDSisHATE, and the American and Israeli flags as part of a campaign the IAC launched on July 26 demanding Ben & Jerry’s stop their boycott of part of the Israeli population.

The flyover kicked off a global advocacy effort that also features a social media campaign urging people to call on Ben & Jerry’s and its parent company, Unilever, not to align with the BDS hate movement targeting Israel, and to renew the ice cream maker’s license with its Israeli manufacturer.

In recent months the IAC has become one of the leading American-Jewish organizations in mobilizing the community against antisemitism and anti-Zionism across the United States.

The IAC stated: “Ben & Jerry’s decision to stop selling its ice cream to certain Israeli populations is a disgraceful surrender to the BDS hate movement, which promotes a culture of fear and violence and seeks to eliminate the Jewish homeland – the only democracy in the Middle East.”

“Unilever should rid itself of this discriminatory and morally wrong act, stand by its corporate values and refocus its Ben & Jerry’s brand on serving ice cream and not hate. We urge Unilever to discard this shameful decision, end this boycott and invest instead in peace and prosperity through dialogue.”

US state pension funds might sanction Unilever

Texas, New York and Florida were among the states that reacted sharply to Ben & Jerry’s boycott of Judea and Samaria.

Texas state comptroller Glenn Hegar immediately began exploring whether state pension funds should fully divest from Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s parent company, following the ice cream company’s move to end sales in Israel.

Mark Gerson is a Jewish businessman and philanthropist who is a large donor to Jewish-Christian causes. He stated, “I’m not surprised Texas, a state filled with Evangelical friends of Israel, is leading the way. They led the way with passing anti-BDS bills and they have been leading the way in defending Israel against this economic violence being committed against the Arab and Jewish residents of East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.”

In New York, the $254.8 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund warned B & J’s parent company Unilever that “companies that engage in BDS activities may face legal, reputational and financial risks” under terms of the state pension fund policy that “views BDS activities as a potential threat to Israel, its economy, and, as a result, the Fund’s relevant investments.”

Liz Gordon, executive director of corporate governance for the fund, warned Unilever CEO Alan Jope that reports indicate ““Ben & Jerry’s, a Unilever wholly owned subsidiary, is involved in BDS activities” and gave him 90 days to “confirm or deny whether Unilever or its subsidiaries have undertaken any activities with the intent to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with, the State of Israel.”

According to the New York State Common Retirement Fund’s most recent annual report, about $73 million of their holdings are invested in Unilever.

Meanwhile in Florida, state CFO Jimmy Patronis informed Ben & Jerry’s CEO Matthew McCarthy it was on a path that could lead to a ban on contracts with them because “Florida law prohibits the state from investing in companies that discriminate against Israel by refusing to deal with or terminate business activities in a discriminatory matter.” An investigation into their action “may result in your business being placed on Florida’s Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List pursuant to Florida Statutes.”

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Guatemala, Central America to fight antisemitism

TEL AVIV — Against the backdrop of rising antisemitism around the world, targeting Jewish communities, the Combat Antisemitism movement announced the debut of the Central America Forum for Israel, to be broadcast online on Thursday, July 29 at 1 p.m. EST.  A united Central American coalition will feature the President of Guatemala, Dr. Alejandro Giammattei and political leaders from 7 nations. They will stand against antisemitism targeting Jewish communities, their members, buildings, and institutions.

Earlier this year, Guatemala’s Congress adopted the landmark International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, while the country’s government demonstrated strong support for Israel during the most recent conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

The forum takes place against the backdrop of rising antisemitism around the world, targeting Jewish communities, their members, buildings, and institutions. A resurgence of the BDS movement via the Unilever/Ben & Jerry’s boycott, has made headlines along with ongoing threats to synagogues in the U.S. and Europe. The U.K. alone has reported a 250 percent rise in antisemitic incidents.

“At this moment in history, with Israel under constant attack and with antisemitic hatred flourishing worldwide, it is time for friends of the Jewish people and Israel to stand up and be counted in a display of resolute solidarity,” said Combat Antisemitism Executive Director, Sacha Roytman-Dratwa. “The Central America Forum for Israel is the first event of many that will build a united front to combat the oldest form of hatred, while simultaneously strengthening the ties of the State of Israel to our partners in the region.”

“I am proud to say that the people of Guatemala and Central America are among the foremost allies of the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” said Robert Singer, Chairman of the Center for Jewish Impact.

Historically, Central American countries have demonstrated steadfast support for Israel, with Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua all amongst the first countries to support the UN Partition Plan and recognize the establishment of the Jewish state.

The event is being organized by representatives of participating countries in partnership with the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM), the Center for Jewish Impact, the Israel-Guatemala Friendship League, the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala, and the Jewish community of Guatemala.

The Central America Forum for Israel is sponsored by B’nai B’rith, the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF), World ORT, and Israel Export Institute.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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