Florida lawmakers overwhelmingly approve anti-BDS law

Legislation opposing boycotts of Israel passed in Florida by a 112-2 majority.

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Ben Ariel,

BDS (illustration)
BDS (illustration)
Reuters

Florida's Senate on Wednesday passed with an overwhelming majority of 112- 2 legislation that opposes the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The StandWithUs organization commended the Florida legislature for passing the bill and urged Governor Rick Scott to sign it.

The bill requires the State Board of Administration to identify all companies that are boycotting Israel or are engaged in a boycott of Israel and create and maintain a list that names all such companies.

While the law does not say that a group cannot boycott Israel or advocate for boycotting Israel nor does it penalize any private party’s exercise of free speech, it does say is that the legislature controls taxpayer money, and it decides where to invest it and where to spend it.

Replying to the passage of the law, Roz Rothstein, CEO StandWithUs, said, “The (BDS) movement is a dangerous front in the war against Israel. It is a propaganda campaign that is designed to erode support for Israel, isolate it as a pariah of nations, and marshal international forces to deligimitize and eventually eliminate the Jewish state. The movement, while being anti-Israel is not pro-peace or even pro-Palestinian. Its goals, if achieved, would leave Palestinians impoverished. We welcome the fact that Florida is joining Illinois and South Carolina in rejecting the boycott campaign.”

Israel Allies Foundation Deputy Director Joseph Sabag welcomed the law as well and said, “Florida’s new anti-discrimination/boycott law is good as a matter of economic policy, public policy and foreign policy. This is a great accomplishment for the pro-Israel community, and a resounding defeat for the BDS Movement. We want to thank our friends at StandWithUs for helping to lead the way with terrific community engagement in this effort.”

The move in Florida follows similar recent measures in several other states. New York, Tennessee and Indiana have all passed anti-BDS legislature.