#BDSfail: California follows New Jersey’s lead, passes anti-BDS law


This newest legislation, the second of its kind, prohibits all State of California bodies from maintaining ties with organizations (BDS) intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or otherwise limit commercial relations by singling out only the State of Israel.

By Israel Hayom Staff


The Israeli American Council marked a significant achievement this week when the California legislator passed a bill barring all state bodies, including universities, from maintaining ties with organizations that support anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions activities, Israel Hayom learned Thursday.

Israel American Coalition for Action head Shawn Evenhaim – Photo: Uri Lenz

The bill prohibits state bodies from investing in companies “engaging in actions that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or otherwise limit commercial relations with the State of Israel, or companies based in the State of Israel or in territories controlled by the State of Israel.”

The bill was the result of considerable lobbying efforts by the IAC, which seeks to counteract the BDS movement on legal, technological and public diplomacy levels.

Likewise, on Tuesday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed abill banning the state’s pension fund from investing in companies that boycott Israel.

Similar legislation, the Anti-Discrimination in State Contracts Act, was passed by Rhode Island’s General Assembly in June and is currently pending Gov. Gina Raimondo’s signature.

“This bill sends a significant message: The hatred the BDS movement seeks to spread will have no room in California,” Shawn Evenhaim, of the IAC-affiliated Israel American Coalition for Action, told Israel Hayom Thursday.

“This bill is important because it makes it clear that [California] taxpayers don’t have to fund boycott activities. … We’re proud of the fact we were able to spur the Israeli-American community to push for this bill, as it will now, and in the future, protect California’s diverse population from discrimination.”

California, one of the largest economies in the United States, and its universities have proven a hotbed of BDS activities.

Major public universities in California have capitulated to BDS pressure, passing anti-Israel resolutions: The University of California, Berkeley, the most radical BDS stronghold, voted in favor of a proposal to boycott Israel in 2014, and in 2015, both UC Davis and UCLA voted to divest from Israeli companies.


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