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Illinois Becomes First State to Pass Anti-BDS Bill

May 26, 2015


Washington, D.C.: The Brandeis Center lauds the Illinois State House of Representatives for passing a bill preventing the state from investing in companies that boycott the State of Israel.

Deemed the Anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Bill, SB 1761 received bipartisan and unanimous support in both the Illinois State Senate (passed 49-0) and the House (passed 102-0).

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is expected to sign the measure, which would be the first of its kind. He took to Twitter saying, “Looking forward to signing #SB1761 making IL first in the nation to fight BDS against Israel.”

The BDS movement was founded in 2005 from Palestinian civil society seeking to undermine the only Jewish state in the world, and demoralize world Jewry. The movement, anti-Semitic and immoral in nature, calls for the economic, political, and academic boycott of Israel and companies that do business with Israel because of its so-called “human rights abuses.”

LDB President Kenneth L. Marcus said of the passed bill, “I strongly commend Governor Rauner on his decision to sign the Anti-BDS bill. I call on all 49 other states to follow Illinois as they make history.”


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Over 50% of Jewish American college students report that they experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism on their campuses during the 2013-2014 academic year. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has announced that campus anti-Semitism “is a serious problem which warrants further attention.” Campus anti-Semitism can include subjecting Jewish students to different treatment, harassment, violence or a hostile environment. In some cases, campus anti-Semitism is related to anti-Israel sentiment. In other cases, it is not. For most purposes, we define anti-Semitism according to the U.S. Department of State definition of anti-Semitism. .
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Advisory Board Spotlight

Charles A. Small
Dr. Charles Asher Small is the Director of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP), and the Koret Distinguished Scholar, Stanford University, Hoover Institution. He was the founding Director of the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA); and lectured on the Ethics, Politics and Economic Program, Political Science Department, Yale University.
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