Anti-BDS legislation signed into law on Israel’s 69th Independence Day: “Anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies”
The Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a well-financed international movement launched at the anti-Semitic 2001 Durban conference.
The BDS movement falsely is portrayed as having launched as a 2005 grassroots call from Palestinian civil society. In fact, as I have proven, BDS traces its roots back to the anti-Jewish Arab boycotts of the 1920s and 1930s, and is a variation on the Arab League boycott that reached its zenith in the 1970s, The REAL history of the BDS movement.
The BDS movement seeks to slam university doors in the faces of Israelis, to prevent cultural exchanges, and to harm Israel economically through economic boycotts.
The battles are being fought at many levels, including in university and college student governments, where the latest BDS tactic is to schedule votes with little notice and around Jewish holidays to diminish Jewish student ability to participate.
There is another level of battle taking place at the state government level, where 18 states have passed various forms of anti-BDS legislation loosely modeled on federal anti-boycott legislation in the 1970s meant to combat the Arab League boycott. The economic boycott of Israel damages not just Israel, but American companies who benefit from cooperation, particularly with Israel high-tech companies. If carried to its logical conclusion, U.S.-based companies such as Intel would have to shut their research facilities in Israel, which have developed many of the advancements in microchip technology used in almost every computer and cell phone.
Yesterday, on Israel’s 69th Independence Day, Governor Greg Abbott signed legislation enacting anti-boycott laws in Texas, as the San Antonio Express-News reported, Being anti-Israel is anti-Texas, says Gov. Greg Abbott:
Gov. Greg Abbott made a strong statement in support of Israel with his first public bill-signing ceremony Tuesday, putting his name to a measure to prevent state contracts with companies that boycott it.
“You can always count on Texas,” Abbott said at the Jewish Community Center here to sign the bill into law. “Any anti-Israel policy is an anti-Texas policy. Texas is not going to do business with any company that boycotts Israel.”
House Bill 89, which got bipartisan legislative support, would prevent government contracts and restrict specific state investments with companies that boycott Israel.
Abbott’s statement included the following:
“I am proud to have commemorated Israel’s Independence Day by signing into law Anti-BDS legislation in Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “As Israel’s number one trading partner in the United States, Texas is proud to reaffirm its support for the people of Israel and we will continue to build on our historic partnership. Anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies, and we will not tolerate such actions against an important ally.”
At the time the legislation was passed, the pro-Israel group StandWithUs explained the justification for the legislation:
House Bill (HB 89), which passed today unanimously (131-0), prohibits state investment in companies that engage in a political boycott of Israel and requires all entities contracting with the state to certify that they don’t participate in such efforts. It previously moved successfully through the Texas Senate….
Jesse Stock, StandWIthUs Texas Coordinator, in his testimony on behalf of the legislation, explained the mutually beneficial relationship between Israel and Texas. “This legislation serves to protect the bond and preserve the relationship between Israelis and Texans. Israeli technology has saved American lives on the battlefield, it powers our cellphones and computers, it puts food on our dinner tables, and it protects us right here in Texas from enemies abroad. Israel is America’s greatest multicultural, democratic ally in the region where all Israeli citizens, regardless of race or religion, have equal rights under the law. America and Israel thrive on similar democratic values.”
Texas Senator Ted Cruz released the following statement in support of the new legislation:
“On a momentous day in which we joined our close ally Israel in celebrating its 69th Independence Day, I am deeply proud that the state of Texas adopted legislation to combat the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Texas has sent a powerful message that it stands with Israel and will not do business with or invest certain public funds in companies that participate in this discriminatory economic campaign that intentionally seeks to delegitimize and destroy the Jewish State. This bill strengthens an already steadfast Texas-Israel relationship – anchored by shared values and exemplified through a robust economic and military partnership. I commend Governor Greg Abbott for signing this anti-BDS bill into law and Representative Phil King and Senator Brandon Creighton for their steadfast leadership in sponsoring this measure.”
These state-level laws are symbolically important within the United States, even though few if any major companies acknowledge boycotting Israel. The law, by requiring certification, help smoke-out and deter undeclared company boycotts. The laws also are important internationally, where BDS has has some success — if you want to do business with major U.S. state governments, then you can’t boycott Israel.DONATE
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