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North Carolina General Assembly Passes Anti-BDS Bill


Edward Kunz, Brandeis Blog

June 30, 2017
 

In late June, legislators from North Carolina’s General Assembly passed House Bill 161, an anti-BDS bill which would seek to punish companies engaged with state business who actively participate in boycott campaigns against the State of Israel. The bill will now be sent to Governor Roy Cooper for his signature. Carin Savel, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary, stated that the bill “makes it clear that the State of North Carolina stands with Israel, which has long been an important trading partner of North Carolina.” The bill enjoyed bipartisan support, having been sponsored by both Democratic and Republican senators and representatives.

ABC affiliate Channel 11 in Raleigh, North Carolina, recently wrote in its report on BDS that “supporters of BDS, including activist Linda Sarsour, insist [that BDS] is a non-violent protest against Israel for occupying and colonizing Palestinian land.” Regardless of this insistence, the text of House Bill 161 states that it is the public policy of both North Carolina and the United States as a whole to oppose boycotts as a matter of national trade policy, as “cooperation with Israel materially benefits United States companies and improves American competitiveness…therefore, a company’s decision to discriminate against Israel…is an unsound business practice.”

If signed into law by Governor Cooper, this will be the 22nd anti-BDS law adopted by a U.S. State. Recently, both Kansas and Nevada passed their own anti-BDS legislation. The number of states that have passed anti-BDS legislation is rapidly approaching the halfway mark. States with large and active BDS campaigns, particularly on their college campuses, are facing active pressures against this new form of anti-Semitism. Universities and academic associations, such as the American Studies Association, have been put on the defensive through litigation and legal advocacy against BDS. BDS, along with the anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism it spreads, is being combatted on many stages in the United States. Soon, there will be no home for the anti-intellectual, anti-factual, hate-filled BDS movement in America.


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Karen Eltis
Professor Karen Eltis is a tenured faculty member at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ottawa, Canada (Section de droit civil) and a Visiting Scholar and Associate Adjunct Professor at Columbia Law School.
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