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GOP Sen Invokes State Law and Calls for Complete Ban of Ben & Jerry's After Company's Anti-Israel Boycott

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Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma called on his state to immediately block sale of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, given the company’s decision to boycott Israel’s West Bank.

“#Benandjerrys has now decided they know more about Jerusalem than the Israelis. If Ben & Jerry’s wants to have a meltdown & boycott Israel, OK is ready to respond. Oklahoma has an anti-boycott of Israel law in place,” Lankford tweeted Wednesday.

“We should immediately block the sale of all #Benandjerrys in the state and in any state-operated facility to align with our law,” he added.

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Oklahoma is one of 35 states that have anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestiture, Sanctions) legislation in place, The Times of Israel reported.

The BDS movement seeks to destroy Israel’s economy by cutting it off from the rest of the world.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United States and the United Nations, wrote a letter to all 35 governors of the states that have anti-BDS legislation on Monday urging them to enforce their laws against Ben & Jerry’s.

Do you think states should retaliate against Ben & Jerry's for its boycott?

“Ben & Jerry’s announced their intention to boycott hundreds of thousands of citizens living in Judea and Samaria [in the West Bank]. We view this decision very seriously as it is the de-facto adoption of antisemitic practices and advancement of the de-legitimization of the Jewish State and the de-humanization of the Jewish people,” Erdan wrote in part.

“I ask that you consider speaking out against the company’s decision, and taking any other relevant steps, including in relation to your state laws and the commercial dealings between Ben & Jerry’s and your state,” the ambassador concluded.

In addition to Oklahoma, some of the other states that have anti-BDS legislation on the books include Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, California, Maryland and Texas, according to the Jewish Virtual Library.

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On Monday, Ben & Jerry’s announced that it would no longer be selling its products in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

“We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). We also hear and recognize the concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners,” the company’s statement read in part.

Historically speaking, there never was a country of Palestine. What is currently known as the West Bank was part of Jordan prior to the Six-Day War in 1967.

Before that, it was controlled by the British following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I.

To the extent that the West Bank is “occupied,” it’s because Jordan and its Arab allies lost to Israel in 1967. Jordan initiated fighting in and around the West Bank and Jerusalem. Israel counterattacked and prevailed, according to History.com.

Besides the laws of war, the Jews make a claim on the land, including Jerusalem, going back to biblical times.

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