Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., wrote in a letter on Tuesday that the Commerce Department must investigate Ben & Jerry‘s for possibly violating a 1969 law when it banned ice-cream sales in the West Bank, the New York Post reported.
Scott wrote that the Commerce Department’s Office of Antiboycott Compliance has the responsibility to enforce the Export Administration Act.
The act gives the president the authority to “prohibit compliance with or support of any foreign boycott against a country which is friendly to the United States, with specified exceptions.”
Scott noted that for Ben & Jerry’s to cease operations in the West Bank, it had to prematurely cancel its licensing agreement with an Israel-based manufacturer and distributor.
“Ben & Jerry’s operates in Israel through a licensee, an Israeli company that has distributed ice cream throughout the country since 1987 and operates one of its few foreign manufacturing facilities,” he wrote.
“In addition to the manufacturing facility, the licensee allows Ben & Jerry’s to operate two scoop shops and distribute ice cream to be sold in stores throughout the country, including in Judea and Samaria,” he added.
As evidence of the anti-Semitism claim, Scott wrote that Ben & Jerry’s has sought to “withdraw ice cream sales from the region for years.”
“Further, Ben & Jerry’s independent board of directors passed a resolution to end sales of Ben & Jerry’s products in Israeli settlements in July 2020,” he wrote. “This appears to be the first such decision by Ben & Jerry’s to boycott sales to a foreign country, meaning the Jewish State is the company’s first target.”