New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
New York state's highest elected official has created a blacklist of foreign companies that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] movement, according to the New York Post Friday.
The Office of General Services wrote the list after Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an order in June which barred the New York State Government from investing public funds in firms that back the BDS movement.
“New York stands in solidarity with Israel today and always," Cuomo said when he signed the executive order. "This state will not stand for the politics of discrimination in any form, and we will continue to demonstrate our unwavering support for the people of Israel in the fight for freedom, liberty and democracy,” he added.
The businesses on the list are not American, state officials said Friday night. The institutions which the order prevents state agencies from investing include several European banks and businesses.
Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said when made aware of the issue that “whenever the government creates a blacklist based on political views, it raises serious First Amendment concerns, and this is no exception."
"We will be looking very closely at this executive order," added Lieberman.
Attorney for the Palestine Legal and Cooperating Counsel, Radhika Sainath, also said in response that “State blacklists reminiscent of the McCarthy era have no place in a democracy."
"The Supreme Court has made this crystal clear: boycotts to effect political, social and economic change are protected by the First Amendment," Sainath added.
Jay Sekulow speaks at anti-BDS conference