Monday, June 1, 2015

Fighting BDS in the States


bdsBack in April, Tennessee made a stir by becoming the first state legislature in the US to pass a bill condemning BDS.  Indiana's legislature shortly followed suit with a similar measure.

Illinois then took things up a notch last month, by becoming the first state to pass an anti-BDS bill which moved beyond formal condemnation of BDS, turning the tactic right back on the boycotters by barring state pension funds from investing in companies that boycott or divest from Israel.

New York is now currently considering a similar bill to Illinois regarding state pension funds, while here in my state, Pennsylvania State Representative Steve Santarsiero (D-Bucks) has introduced H.B. 1018, the Stand with Israel Act, which will bar any college or university in Pennsylvania from receiving state funding if it boycotts or divests from Israel.  The Pennsylvania bill is currently in the House Education Committee, where it has bipartisan sponsorship of 41 members (20% of the House), including my own, Rep. Michael O'Brien (D-Philadelphia), and House Education Committee Chairman, Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York).

Particularly encouraging is the wide and deep bipartisan support these bills are finding.  This should serve to remind us that no matter how dark the news possibly sometimes looks for those of us with a tendency to go looking for the dark side of things, the fact remains that the anti-Israel fanatics aren't anywhere near close to gaining any sort of foothold at levels where things actually matter, and that as long as we keep up the good fight, we'll keep winning.

As we surely know, boycotting Jews is once again all the rage amongst certain types of folks.   They sit around their virtual cyber-camp-fires, or at their SJP rallies, and tell tall tales of Jewish villainy and perfidy in service of monstrous terrorist organizations which they like to pretend don't exist.  Or if they do, it's only because of "The Occupation" [sic], or because of Jews building apartments or second bathrooms in the land where Jews come from.

While certainly not an original tactic, what is new about this current round of Jew Boycotts is that they're currently being framed in 'progressive' terms of 'justice' and 'fairness' and 'peace' and, I suppose, puppies and rainbows and water ice and all that good stuff, too.

While federal legislation taking on the BDS bullies is currently working its way through Congress, the states are quickly taking the lead in this fight for now.


  1. That is encouraging news, Jay, as long as we don't let our guard down I remain optimistic.

    "what is new about this current round of Jew Boycotts..."
    But is there anything really new about any of this?

    1. Nope, not really. Different language, I guess... but it still smells, and is, the same.

    2. And thanks! We'll soon be 5 states down, 45 to go!