State Sen. Daniel Biss, nominee for Illinois governor. (Screenshot) (Screenshot)
State Sen. Daniel Biss

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The Democratic nominee for governor in the state of Illinois dropped his running mate after it was reported that the latter supported BDS.

A candidate vying for the Democratic nomination for governor in Illinois dropped his running mate on Wednesday, after it was reported that the latter supported the anti-Israel boycott campaign.

State Sen. Daniel Biss said that he will replace Chicago alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa with a new running mate, Chicago’s NBC 5 reported, less than a week after selecting the alderman. Following the revelation, influential Rep. Brad Schneider (D – Ill.) withdrew his endorsement of Biss.

“Growing up with an Israeli mother, grandparents who survived the Holocaust, and great-grandparents who did not survive, issues related to the safety and security of the Jewish people are deeply personal to me,” Biss said in a statement explaining his decision. “I strongly support a two-state solution. I support Israel’s right to exist, and I support Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. I also care deeply about justice for Palestinians, and believe that a vision for the Middle East must include political and economic freedom for Palestinians.”

“That’s why I oppose the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS,” Biss continued, “as I believe it moves us further away from a peaceful solution.”

Biss said that when he originally interviewed Ramirez-Rosa to be his running mate, the alderman indicated that he too opposed BDS, however, “it’s become clear that Carlos’ position has changed,” and that “it simply wasn’t the understanding we shared when I asked him to join the ticket.”

Illinois First State to Fight BDS

The Illinois State House of Representatives in May 2015 unanimously passed a bill that prohibits state pension funds from including in their portfolios companies that participate in the BDS movement against Israel.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed it into law soon after. “We need to stand up to anti-Semitism whenever and wherever we see it,” Rauner said. “This historic legislation is an important first step in the fight against boycotts of Israel, and I hope other states move quickly to follow our lead.”

Illinois was the first state to take concrete, legally binding action against BDS. A total of 22 US states has passed anti-BDS bills.

“At the core of the BDS movement is a quest to delegitimize Israel as a sovereign, democratic and Jewish state,” said Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF) President Steven B. Nasatir at the time. “This bipartisan legislation sends a strong message that Illinois will not tolerate such efforts.”

The governors of all 50 US states have signed a declaration condemning the BDS movement as antithetical to American values.

The BDS movement promotes financial, academic and cultural boycotts of Israel, ostensibly as a nonviolent protest against the so-called “Israeli occupation.” Critics say its activities are a modern form of anti-Semitism and that its true objective is to destroy the State of Israel.

By: The Tower and United with Israel Staff