California’s Governor Brown signs into law new anti-BDS bill 


Jewish advocacy group admits the new California law that officially blocks state-contracted companies from engaging in any anti-Israel boycott, divestment or sanctions activities, sends an unmistakable message: California wants no part of the BDS movement’s tactics.

By Israel Hayom Staff


California Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday signed into law a bill targeting the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, effectively barring state-contracted companies from pursuing any discriminatory practices when dealing with Israel, Israeli companies or Israeli-made products.

California Governor Jerry Brown at a Rally in Sacramento. – Photo: Mark Miller/Wikipedia Commons

The California State Senate approved the bill by a vote of 34 to one on Aug. 24, and the State Assembly passed it by a vote of 69 to one on Aug. 30.

According to the Jewish Journal, Assembly Bill 2844, dubbed “the anti-BDS bill,” requires companies that contract with the state of California to verify that they do not violate California civil rights laws in boycotting a foreign country — including Israel, the only country mentioned by name. The legislation further bars all state bodies, including universities, from maintaining ties with organizations that support the BDS movement.

“We commend Governor Brown for signing this bill,” Janna Weinstein Smith, director of the American Jewish Committee in Los Angeles, said in a statement.

“The bill sends the clear and unmistakable message that the state of California wants no part of the goals and tactics of the BDS movement. Thanks to this legislation, those who wish to target Jews and Israelis for discrimination will not be doing business with the state of California.”

The bill was presented by Democratic Assemblyman Richard Bloom (Santa Monica) in April. At the time, the proposal was rivaled by a similar bill introduced by Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen (Huntington Beach). The two eventually joined forces on the bill, which enjoyed the support of the California Jewish Legislative Caucus.

The Israeli-American Coalition for Action also welcomed the move, lauding Bloom, Allen, and the California Legislative Jewish Caucus for partnering on the issue.

The new law, however, is not without its detractors: According to the Jewish Journal, the American Civil Liberties Union voiced strong opposition to the bill, citing free speech concerns.

Critics denounced the bill as a “needless repetition of state discrimination law and an effort to chill free speech.”


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