Florida's House of Representatives . (AP/Phil Sears) (AP/Phil Sears)
Florida's House of Representatives

More US states are joining the effort to fight against the anti-Israel boycott movement.

Florida became the fifth state in the US to introduce a resolution to confront the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement when it passed a law on December 21, similar to the first anti-BDS legislation introduced in Tennessee last April.

By doing so, Florida has joined Tennessee, New York, Indiana and Pennsylvania. Another 35 states are reportedly considering similar legislation.

The Tennessee resolution declares that the BDS movement is “one of the main vehicles for spreading anti-Semitism and advocating the elimination of the Jewish state,” adding that BDS activities in Tennessee “undermine the Jewish people’s right to self-determination, which they are fulfilling in the State of Israel.”

Furthermore, the resolution states that the BDS movement and its agenda are “inherently antithetical and deeply damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy and human rights for all the peoples in the Middle East.”

“Florida and Israel have enjoyed a long history of friendship and are great allies of our shared Democratic values”, stated Proclaiming Justice to the Nations’ (PJTN) Board Chairman, Stanley G. Tate.

PJTN, a Christian pro-Israel advocacy organization, has been instrumental in promoting anti-BDS legislation in several states.

Tate worked closely with Florida State Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla and State House Representative Lori Berman in drafting the bi-partisan resolution to condemn BDS and halt the increasing incidents of anti-Semitism on Florida campuses.

President of PJTN Laurie Cardoza-Moore

President of PJTN Laurie Cardoza-Moore. (pjtn.org)

“The time has come for elected state leaders to step forward and condemn the hate speech and targeting of pro-Israel and Jewish students on college campuses that has been fueled by the BDS campaign,” PJTN said in a statement.

The incidents of anti-Semitic attacks in general, and against Jewish students on college campuses specifically, have seen a dramatic increase over the last several years.

“The recent Florida resolution can serve as a positive example and concrete model of a firm step that other state legislators can take as we begin to expose the malicious intent of the BDS campaign and confront it head-on,” PJTN President Laurie Cardoza-Moore stated. “With 70% of Americans supporting Israel over the Arab-Israeli conflict,” she called on “people of conscience” to launch anti-BDS initiatives in their states.  “It’s time to confront these anti-Semites head-on!” she declared.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel