Ben and Jerry.

Several years back the Illinois legislature passed a bill that banned the investment of my pension funds or any state pension funds in companies that divested in Israel to protest Israeli policies towards Palestinians and settlements. 

The vote of the Illinois House was unanimous, including that of my own rep. Will Guzzardi. I wrote Will expressing my disappointment in his vote. Will Guzzardi wrote me back explaining he thought “the Jews needed a win.” 

Ben and Jerry no longer own Ben and Jerry’s, but they voiced support for the decision to stop selling Ben and Jerry’s in occupied territory. 

So in stepped  (get the name) The Israeli Boycott Restrictions Committee of the Illinois Investment Policy Board who will meet to approve setting a 90-day deadline for Unilever (which now owns B&J) to reverse the decision by Ben & Jerry’s. 

What the Investment Policy Board is doing is searching through my pension investments to see if any Unilver companies have pension funds invested in them. BTW, if I tried to track investments by my TRS I couldn’t do it because I have been told it is proprietary information. 

Back when the legislature passed this stupid bill I pointed out that for a group of politicians to vote on how our pension funds are invested when they failed to even fully fund it is a cruel joke. 

Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, said in a New York Times op-ed published Wednesday, “We are also proud Jews. It’s part of who we are and how we’ve identified ourselves for our whole lives. As our company began to expand internationally, Israel was one of our first overseas markets. We were then, and remain today, supporters of the State of Israel,” the founders said. “But it’s possible to support Israel and oppose some of its policies, just as we’ve opposed policies of the U.S. government.”

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