Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, welcomed the Combating BDS Act of 2019, as part of a larger Senate bill, that affirms the right of states to enact laws that would prevent contacts or investments in companies that boycott Israel.
“The US Congress is again at the forefront of the effort to strengthen the US-Israel relationship. This legislation is another tool in the important campaign to stop the BDS movement, which, in the clearest expression of modern anti-Semitism, demonizes and singles out the world’s only Jewish state,” said Danon.
“The time has come to boycott the boycotters and prove to the BDS supporters that their lies will pay a heavy price. We expect other countries to join the US in standing against anti-Israeli activity on all fronts in the campaign to expose the truth,” he added.
Last week, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) reintroduced pro-Israel legislation that did not get passed in the last Congress. The package includes a bill that would establish federal legal protections for states passing laws divesting pension funds from groups that boycott Israel.
Democrats have spoken out against the legislation, among them Independent Jewish Senator Bernie Sanders who caucuses with the Democrats, who tweeted, “It’s absurd that the first bill during the shutdown is legislation which punishes Americans who exercise their constitutional right to engage in political activity.”
“Democrats must block consideration of any bills that don’t reopen the government,” Sanders added. “Let’s get our priorities right.”
Rubio’s bill is a version of a bill that languished in the last Congress that would establish federal legal protections for states passing laws divesting pension funds from groups that boycott Israel.
A number of Democrats shied away from that bill, citing free speech concerns. Sanders was one of these senators, as was Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
Also speaking out against the Rubio bill was newly elected Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who quoted Sanders’ tweet and added, “They forgot what country they represent. This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality.”