Binyamin Council helps promote US law against antisemitism
Binyamin Council helps promote US law against antisemitismJordan Arnold

From right, photo includes: Eliana Passentin, Binyamin; Ruthie Lieberman, Political advisor; Treasurer John Fleming; Gov. Yisrael Ganz; Mr Woody Jenkins; Louisiana business community.

Last week Binyamin Regional Council Governor and Yesha Council Chair Israel Ganz visited New York and Washington to educate on the US Administration’s initiative to promote a plan for the establishment of a Palestinian state. His delegation included Head of the International Desk Eliana Passentin and political advisor Ruthie Lieberman.

In recent months Ganz’s team has been in touch with Louisiana lawmakers, including Congressman Michael Bayham, a member of the House of Representatives, and with the senior staff of the Governor of Louisiana, to promote a state law banning displays of antisemitism. The resolution that passed includes legal action against organizations and individuals making antisemitic statements or acting against Jews. Last week Ganz visited Louisiana with his team, to help develop commercial and economic relations with that state, and were welcomed as honored guests. While they were there, the resolution was passed and the law is expected to be added to the state law books in the next session.

Photo: Jordan Arnold
Photo: Jordan Arnold

The new law forbids displays of antisemitism against Jews and against Israel. Educational institutions, universities and organizations will be faced with the cancellation of public funding if they are found taking an antisemitic stance, and individuals will be subject to fines and even prison terms. The legislative process was first promoted by Ms. Lieberman and the Yes! Israel Project. The definition of antisemitism reiterates the IHRA definition, as applied by the US State Department and others.

Ganz thanked the Louisiana President of the Senate and House of Representatives members for passing this historic law and for their support for the development of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria. “We came here,” said Ganz, “to advance commercial relations with you and economic development as the next stage of our partnership. We welcome this partnership, which is based on the shared values of the Jewish People and the American people. Your strong stance beside us and your upholding of the truth is fertile ground for productive cooperation. We saw this in the resolution that you passed today, that is a clear statement from you that you stand for justice and for the justness of the land and the people of the Bible.”

In Louisiana, Ganz and the Binyamin delegation also worked on the establishment of commercial activities between the state and Binyamin, as well as all of Judea & Samaria. Leaders of the business communities in Louisiana, in both the private sector and the government heads, pledged to work on new opportunities for Israel’s technological know-how to be applied to better use the state’s abundant resources.

Close ties have already been formed between the sides, developing commercial cooperation between businesses in Binyamin that are offering services and technologies in Louisiana. This economic relations visit included a celebratory luncheon, hosted in the historic Governor’s mansion with Louisiana Secretary of State Nancy Landry, and a groundbreaking announcement by Secretary of the Treasury John Fleming of the investment of an additional $10 billion in Israel Bonds. Other guests at this special event were nearly two dozen senior members of the Louisiana business community, including a former U.S. Senator, the Vice President of the New Orleans Saints football team, and the owner of one of Louisiana’s major ports.

At Ganz’s meeting with Secretary Fleming and Woody Jenkins, he announced the state’s intention to establish an annual event for businesses and entrepreneurs from his state and from towns in Judea, Samaria and Binyamin, to promote joint economic ventures. Recently, the state of Louisiana signed a contract for innovative software by EPR, whose headquarters are in Binyamin’s Eli community. The Binyamin delegation toured firefighting facilities that have been outfitted with systems produced in Binyamin.

“This is the continuation of a long-standing friendship between our state and Israel, and we intend to grow the economic cooperation, with new partnerships and a first annual trade expo right here in the State Capital. We stand with Israel, and with the people of Judea and Samaria, always,” Treasurer Fleming said.