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The Florida legislature on Wednesday became the first state government to pass a bill for divestment from Iran. It passed unanimously and, with its strong bipartisan backing, is expected to be signed by the governor.
Under the legislation, some $1 billion in state pension funds would be screened for holdings in companies doing business with or investing in Iran's oil sector, as well as businesses engaged in Sudan.
"Lots of other states will follow suit, because they'll see the same type of broad-based support that we have here," Florida State Senator Ted Deutch said. "When they [companies] feel this pressure, they'll understand that they need to stop."
Deutch noted that his district, Boca Raton, has many Holocaust survivors.
"For them, what we did this past week really gives voice and substance to 'never again.'"
Canadian MP Irwin Cotler also scored an advance in legislation against Iran this week - in his case, a bid for the government to have the United Nations examine Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's public incitement to genocide in the calls to "wipe Israel off the map."
Cotler's resolution also asks the Canadian government to call upon the UN Security Council to refer the issue of his incitement to the International Criminal Court for investigation and possible prosecution.
Cotler's motion passed the Canadian legislature's Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Human Rights this week as a preliminary step before passage.
Another legislative move directed at the United Nations is coming from three US Representatives - Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois), Robert Wexler (D-Florida) and Thaddeus McCotter (R-Michigan). The trio are circulating a letter asking colleagues to join them in pushing for the Jewish National Fund-United States to be granted consultative status at the UN.
"JNF's work has made it a global environmental leader with an extraordinary record of planting 240 million trees and building 180 reservoirs, providing 15 percent of Israel's water needs," their letter, to be sent to the UN, reads. "We believe that granting the JNF-US consultative status at the United Nations will be extraordinarily beneficial to the entire family of nations."
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