WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of 19 senators introduced a bill Wednesday that would provide federal protections to state and local governments seeking to combat efforts to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. The bill, introduced by senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), affirms that state houses have the authority to punish organizations taking part in the BDS effort.
The Combating BDS Act expands on a similar legislative measure passed last year. Since then, several governors have joined in the effort to target the BDS movement, including those in California and New York. “This legislation supports efforts by state governments and local communities to use the power of the purse to counter the BDS movement’s economic warfare targeting Israel,” Rubio said in a statement.