(AP/Mel Evans)
Chris Christie

In yet a further blow to the anti-Israel boycott movement, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie officially made it illegal for his state to invest in companies that boycott Israel in any way.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Tuesday signed into law a resolution passed by the state legislature in June prohibiting the state’s public worker pension fund from investing in companies that boycott Israel or Israeli businesses.

“Israel is the beacon of democracy in a region that is constantly in turmoil,” Christie said, calling Israel America’s “one, true and best friend.”

The $71 billion pension fund provides coverage for about 800,000 current and retired state workers.

Israel and New Jersey annually trade more than $1.3 billion in goods, according to the legislation.

“It is important to the economic well-being of New Jersey that persons or entities conducting commercial trade and doing business in the State do not engage in boycotts of a legitimate and viable partner with whom New Jersey can enjoy open trade contracting,” the bill reads. “Therefore, it is in the best interest of this State that a statutory prohibition be enacted to prohibit the investment of public employee retirement funds in companies boycotting Israel.”

New Jersey now joins nearly a dozen US states who have passed laws fighting the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) movement over the past year.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Danny Danon welcomed the latest move by New Jersey.

“State after state, we see our most important ally, the United States, continues to stand by Israel in the fight against BDS,” Danon said in a statement.

Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa South Carolina and Rhode Island have passed bills fighting boycotts on Israel.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed an executive order banning state agencies from investing in companies that support boycotts on Israel.

More than 20 states are considering, or have passed, legislation targeting companies that comply with the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, and many countries around the world have introduced and passed similar laws.

The BDS 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: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff