An anti-Israel activist protests Gov. Cuomo's order. (AP/Mike Groll) (AP/Mike Groll)
Anti Israel protest
Andrew Cuomo

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo joins in the annual Celebrate Israel parade along Fifth Avenue. (AP/Kathy Willens)

Protesters say the state is violating the constitutionally protected free speech of business owners by treating them differently than others simply because of their political opinions.

Supporters of boycotts on Israel are protesting New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order prohibiting state investments in any company that support a boycott of Israel.

A group of more than 100 people gathered outside the Democratic governor’s office Wednesday, chanting loudly before attempting to deliver a petition to Cuomo seeking the reversal of his executive order.

Speakers at the rally say the state is violating the constitutionally protected free speech of business owners by treating them differently than others simply because of their political opinions.

Cuomo’s executive order was issued this month. He has said it is intended to support Israel and protect it against the threat of boycott or sanctions.

His executive order is the first of its kind anywhere in the country.

The anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement promotes financial, academic and cultural boycotts against Israel, ostensibly as a nonviolent struggle against the so-called “Israeli occupation.”

Critics say its activities are a modern form of anti-Semitism, and its true objective is to destroy the State of Israel.

By: AP and United with Israel Staff