Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan is lobbying to change the anti-BDS law in the state of Tennessee in the United States, which in its current form could harm businesses in Judea and Samaria.
Dagan has recruited 16 MKs to support his efforts, including former Minister of Economy Eli Cohen, former Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs Israel Katz, former Minister of Labor and Social Affairs MK Haim Katz, former Minister of Transportation MK Miri Regev, former Minister of Education Yoav Galant, former Minister of Transportation MK Bezalel Smotrich, MK Avi Dichter, MK Keti Shitrit, MK Miki Zohar, MK Eti Atiya, MK Keren Barak, MK Simcha Rotman, MK Ofir Sofer, MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, MK Avi Maoz, and MK Michal Waldiger.
Dagan, along with MKs who previously met with Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, asked the governor not to succumb to pressure to exclude Judea and Samaria from the bill: "Judea and Samaria, including the region and the citizens I represent, are not mentioned in the current bill. This exposes my citizens, farmers, winemakers, technology entrepreneurs and business owners to unnecessary risk and gives power to the BDS movement. The omission of Judea and Samaria from the law will be unfairly exploited by the BDS movement and will be interpreted as a lack of solidarity with Judea and Samaria, and will lead to further attacks and boycotts "against only Judea and Samaria" (such as Ben & Jerrys). Only with explicit reference to Judea and Samaria does the boycott law have the deterrent effect necessary to combat these blatant anti-Semitic initiatives."
The MKs wrote to Gov. Lee after praising his decision to pass the anti-BDS lawy: "There is one aspect to the bill that concerns us, the lack of the words 'Judea and Samaria'. This has been the norm for the past six years. From the Federal Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which was enacted by President Obama in 2015. These laws provide protective benefits to Tennessee companies as well as to Israeli companies."
"If the language of the bill remains as it is, the BDS movement will take advantage of this, celebrating the ambiguity of the bill. And these will argue that they have managed to change public opinion so much against Israel that even the state of Tennessee, which passed a decision in principle to protect Israel's rights in Judea and Samaria in 2015, no longer feels comfortable mentioning the word 'territories'. (Judea and Samaria). This could be detrimental to Israel and to companies doing business in Israel. Moreover, this language can invite further boycotts of "only Judea and Samaria", as we have recently experienced from Ben & Jerry's and Airbnb. We appreciate your continued support for Israel in its entirety, including protecting the rights of Jews to live in the biblical heart of Jerusalem, Hebron, Beit El, Shiloh and Elon Moreh, and the mountains of Judea and Samaria."
During Dagan's visit to Tennessee, he gave the governor wine from Har Bracha in Samaria and a gold-plated menorah with a dedication. Dagan's visit came after a marathon of about 20 congressional and Senate sessions, and after he managed to form a group of senators and congressmen who would fight against the Biden administration's attempts to "curb construction in the settlements."