Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Calling on Obama to Act Against BDS
The top Republican and Democrat of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs introduced a resolution calling on the Obama administration to boost its voice and efforts in opposing the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, both at home and abroad.
Reps Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) urged the Obama administration to use its influence in international organizations “and other appropriate international forums to actively oppose” measures in favor of the Palestinian-initiated boycott of Israel.
The resolution noted with concern that several companies in Europe have been restricting business with the Jewish state with politically suggestive undertones, adding that Israel is Europe’s biggest trading partner in the Middle East and the European Union remains Israel’s most lucrative market.
The resolution called on states to follow in the example of Illinois and South Carolina, which have passed legislation restricting business with companies engaged in a political boycott of Israel. Several other states, including Tennessee and New York, have also passed non-binding resolutions condemning BDS.
The BDS movement seeks to undermine the peace process and destroy the prospect of two states living side by side, a solution strongly supported by the resolution.
The non-binding legislation explains the BDS movement within the context of the Arab League boycott of Israel, which began when the territory was still under British control in 1945. Still, today Egypt and Jordan have peace treaties with Israel, Israel and the Palestinian Authority cooperate on security and other matters, several Arab countries in the Gulf region are reported to maintain secret contacts with Israel pertaining to intelligence and their shared regional foe Iran, and Israeli athletes have even traveled to Morocco and the United Arab Emirates to compete.