BDS supporters. (Wikipedia) BDS supporters. (Wikipedia)
BDS supporters.

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Sen. Jack Martins

Sen. Jack Martins (Mike Groll/AP)

The New York State Senate passed a bill prohibiting business dealings with individuals or corporations that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

It is illegal in New York State to engage directly in an international boycott against allies of the United States. On Wednesday, this law was expanded through Bill S6378A, otherwise known as the Martins-Felder Anti-BDS Bill, which also forbids dealings with other companies that boycott US allies, including Israel.  Until the passing of this bill, it was possible to support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel or any other US ally indirectly through business dealings with companies or individuals engaged in such activity.

The bill was sponsored by Senators Jack Martins, a Republican from Long Island, and Simcha Felder, a Democrat from Brooklyn.

“Israel and our other allies stand side by side with us to protect New Yorkers and all Americans. We owe it to them to ensure our own resources are not used in efforts to attack them,” Martins stated. “This sends a strong message that New York State supports those who have continually supported us.”

Sen. Simcha Felder

Sen. Simcha Felder (Twitter)

“Those who advocate and engage in boycotts against Israel, and who promote anti-Semitic ideology, have no place as a state contractor. This is very meaningful legislation that protects our nation’s allies and stands up against bigotry and injustice,” Felder said.

It is possible to determine through publicly available information which companies, organizations, or individuals have engaged in or promoted boycott activity and thereby create a reference list. A number of other states have adopted similar laws to prevent their taxpayers from supporting such entities.

“There is no greater ally and strategic partner to the United States than Israel,” Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Co-Chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, said in a statement the following day. “It’s essential that we remain committed to building a stronger relationship between our two nations. The anti-Semitic ideology harming Israel and her economy through the BDS movement should not be supported in any manner by the United States. I thank the New York State Senate for leading boldly on this important issue, and hope that this legislation will be quickly passed by the State Assembly and signed into law.”

By: Terri Nir, United with Israel

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