Bill countering BDS introduced in California legislature

Marcy Oster

LOS ANGELES (JTA) – A bill squarely aimed at countering the effectiveness of the anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement, or BDS, was introduced in the California legislature.

If adopted, the bill introduced on Monday would forbid the California state government from contracting with companies “engaging in boycotts based on race, color, religion, gender or nationality.”

Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach in Orange County, in introducing the bill, noted that “California strongly opposes discrimination. Of particular concern lately is the fact that boycotts of entities and individuals affiliated with specific countries can amount to ethnic, religious, racial and/or national origin discrimination.

“No group better demonstrates this fact than the BDS movement, whose use of false, demonizing and delegitimizing propaganda against the State of Israel has become a pretext for the expression of anti-Jewish bigotry,” Allen said.

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Allen added that the bill “ensures that California won’t support businesses that actively seek to undermine our mutually beneficial trading relationships, based on prejudice.”

Last year, the legislatures of South Carolina and Illinois approved similar bills.

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