Senate bill would bolster state and local efforts to combat boycotts of Israel

January 18, 2017 19:18

WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan group of 19 senators introduced a bill on 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. In that time, 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. "This bipartisan bill is all the more timely after the United Nations Security Council’s passage of Resolution 2334, a deplorable one-sided measure that harms Israel and effectively encourages the BDS movement’s campaigns to commercially and financially target and discriminate against the Jewish state."

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