Tags: Rubio | Manchin | Legislation | BDS Movement | Israel

Rubio, Manchin Introduce Bill to Fight BDS Movement Targeting Israel

Image: Rubio, Manchin Introduce Bill to Fight BDS Movement Targeting Israel

Sen. Joe Manchin, Marco Rubio (AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 10:03 AM

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., announced Wednesday that they are leading a bipartisan group of senators in introducing The Combating BDS Act, a bill designed to help state and local governments in their support for Israel.

The bill ramps up protection for state and local governments that decide to ban work and investment with companies that target Israel for boycotts, divestment, or sanctions, according to Rubio and Manchin's press release.

The BDS movement targets Israel for its occupation of the West Bank, which some believe to be illegal.

"This legislation supports efforts by state governments and local communities to use the power of the purse to counter the BDS movement's economic warfare targeting Israel," said Rubio.

"This bipartisan bill is all the more timely after the United Nations Security Council's passage of Resolution 2334, a deplorable one-sided measure that harms Israel and effectively encourages the BDS movement's campaigns to commercially and financially target and discriminate against the Jewish state," he added. 

Manchin said the legislation aims to reassure Israel, "our strongest ally in the Middle East." The Democrat added, "We need to send them a strong signal that we will do everything in our power to fight the BDS movement."

That movement is a "hateful weapon to delegitimize the Jewish State and its allies," the press release said.

"At a time when anti-Israel boycotts are popping up around the country and the globe, the United States, Israel, and our allies need new ways to defend against the evolving threat of economic warfare."

The legislation helps states and local governments counteract moves against Israel, the release said.

The press release said the original co-sponsors of the act include Republican Sens. Mike Crapo, John Cornyn, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Tom Cotton, Rob Portman, Ted Cruz, Lisa Murkowski, and Roy Blunt.

Democrat co-sponsors are Bill Nelson, Ben Cardin, Rober Menendez, Ron Wyden, Richard Blumenthal, Gary Peters, Debbie Stabenow, and Michael Bennet.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations opposed the previous version of the bill in 2016, saying that businesses that boycott or sanction Israel over its "illegal occupation" of the West Bank are exercising constitutionally protected free speech in doing so.

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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., announced Wednesday that they are leading a bipartisan group of senators in introducing The Combating BDS Act...
Rubio, Manchin, Legislation, BDS Movement, Israel
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2017-03-18
Wednesday, 18 Jan 2017 10:03 AM
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