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January 6, 2016 7:41 am

California Assemblyman Introduces Bill to Drown Out Anti-Israel Boycott Movement

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Assemblyman Travis Allen. Photo: Facebook.

Assemblyman Travis Allen. Photo: Facebook. – With an eye on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, California State Assemblyman Travis Allen (R) on Monday introduced Assembly Bill 1552, which would ensure that California doesn’t contract with businesses that engage in boycotts based on race, color, religion, gender or nationality.

“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 Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), whose use of false, demonizing and delegitimizing propaganda against the state of Israel has become a pretext for the expression of anti-Jewish bigotry,” said Allen.

Since 2005, the BDS movement has targeted the Jewish state for economic and political sanctions. In California, BDS efforts have been widespread within the 10-campus University of California (UC) system. Spurred by the efforts of Students for Justice in Palestine, various student governments and organizations have authorized non-binding resolutions endorsing anti-Israel boycott efforts. During this same time,incidents of anti-Semitism on California campuses have dramatically increased, leading the UC Board of Regents to consider adopting the US State Department’s definition of antisemitism.

Allen’s concerns over BDS efforts go beyond “ethnic, religious, racial, or nationality discrimination.” Targeting Israel for boycotts can have a negative economic impact on the Golden State itself, he argued.

According to Allen, “In 2014, California exported over $2.3 billion in goods to Israel, making it the state’s 18th largest export destination. Manufactured commodities are the largest export category for California, with over $1.6 billion, representing nearly 70 percent of all exports to Israel.”

In addition, Israeli technology may also be a source of life — literally — for California. With a disastrous drought threatening the entire state, California political and business leaders have turned to the Jewish state for an innovative solution in the form of desalination water treatment plants.

Allen offered another piece of legislation earlier on Monday with Assembly Bill 1551, the California-Israel Commerce Protection Act, which would require the state of California to divest from companies that boycott Israel.

The legislative initiative taken by the California Republican has been well received by pro-Israel organizations and groups that monitor antisemitism.

“We are proud that the state of California is taking up legislation to stop commercial discrimination and boycotts against Israel,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of the Israel education and advocacy group StandWithUs. “Such boycott efforts are part of the BDS movement’s virulent propaganda campaign against Israel.”

Rothstein added, “The goal of BDS, as admitted by its own founders, is to isolate Israel among nations and convince the world that the Jewish state has no right to exist. This new bill makes it clear that California, a state whose citizens cherish the values of freedom, fairness, democracy, and peace, will make business decisions which uphold its public policy and values.”

EJ Kimball, director of US Operations for the Israel Allies Foundation, told to the Haym Salomon Center, “The South Carolina bill that AB 1552 is modeled after was the product of more than two years of legal research, policy development and public educational resourcing by the Israel Allies Foundation. We’re pleased to see this effective approach taken up in California and elsewhere. Legislation such as this will play a significant role in defeating the BDS movement’s effort to promote commercial discrimination and boycotts against Israel.”

Students for Justice in Palestine, Coalition of West Coast Chapters did not answer a request for comment from the Haym Salomon Center.

The US states of South Carolina and Illinois have passed similar legislation to the California proposal, aiming to take concrete action against BDS supporters, while state legislatures in Tennessee, New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Florida have passed resolutions condemning the BDS movement.

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  • Laura Jane Burkhart

    January 11, 2016

    Boycott Israel?
    By Laura Jane Burkhart

    What Israel is all about!

    Israel is a land in which the Jewish people dwell…a land of beauty and love…hope and passion, a land of joy. I lived in Israel for two years…and much of that time…I volunteered for the Ministry of Welfare. I met Jews and Arabs, who worked side by side…enjoyed each other, loved each other…survived wars, hateful words…terrorism. The land is filled with fun, good food, spices, smells, life…
    But, now…a cloud is forming…which must be addressed!

    This is a response to the two articles which have recently been written, from England, and California.
    I moved to Israel in 2009, and soon after, saw the Floatilla come into Israeli waters…and came up with opinions on what was happening.
    First, the ship, which was “for medical supplies”, were out dated and dropped on the dock, after arriving in Israel.
    The ship came with many who were liberal, and anti-Israel. They brought many from Turkey, searched them normally, then picked up another 50 terrorists from another check point, which no search made. These men had weapons, and $10,000 cash in their pockets.
    Upon arrival into Israeli waters, the Israeli Government denied Gaza entrance without what, each country requires, search of it tourists.
    A mini war started, and Israel came with minimal weapons, actually, onto the Floatilla, with paint ball guns. They were met with weapons, a major General of sorts was cut in his abdomen, dumped into the Meditteranean…and then, 9 people were killed. When I learned more about this event…people on “Youtube” made Israel really look like the bad guy…until I learned that they came with 80,000 dollars worth of media equipment…and later learned of the 50 terrorists.
    As Paul Harvey would say…”the rest of the story!”
    People in Israel asked me…so, what do you think of the Floatilla?
    One Doctor especially. After learning these details…my pro-Israel stance opened into my normal, Bible believing, “God chose Israel”, God “gave Israel to the Jews”…even after the black eye of the Floatilla.
    It was a set up!
    So…I will comment briefly on these two events:
    1.) England, and your 300+ educators saying to boycott Israeli Institutions.
    2.) Los Angeles, encouraging a boycott of Israeli learning Institutions.

    First…I will say that Biblically speaking, God gave Israel to Abraham and to his seed, forever. Nothing, in my mind will change that!
    Second, in the light of global events with ISIS, and the current intifada in Israel, for these two groups, two countries, to side with Islam…in the light of the world going crazy, appears to me, a shift…
    Therefore…I will explain the shift, and encourage the opposite of a boycott of anything from Israel.
    The shift is…something which is spoken of prophetically: All nations will turn against Israel.
    That said, what happened previously?
    Well…in Ezekiel, God promised a second return to Israel…and, two things which were spoken of…after the return,
    “You will dwell in peace, and no longer will you be the taunting song of the nations.”
    Interesting…in my life time…I have seen Israel do many things.
    They have attempted to live in peace…
    After the Yom Kippur war, of which my Mother was strategically involved, prayerfully, before it happened. She knew things were not well with Israel…and prayed. During that war, the water was cut off…and Israel’s enemies hoped to win.
    God came through, and they were denied the defeat hoped for.
    In Israel’s history, they have given back land, which they won through war…
    After entering Israel, during the 1948 beginnings, a war again began, and though the world voted for partition, many thought that, especially Britain, that Israel would be defeated, from the Arabs. After a two year war…the promise of a return, and their protection have happened.
    So, now we come to the present war…
    The war on paper.
    Sometimes words can be more devastating than bombs…knives, guns, uzzi’s…
    So, I speak to that war…the war on words.
    I do not speak to your enemies…it is pointless.
    I speak to you, in Israel…to the Hebrew’s…the Jews…to not the cousins, the Arabs…but you who are spoken of, that you will return.
    Do you understand that no matter what people say to do, or do to you…that God is with you…that you are blessed, that you are united in one place…at peace…and, you are going to be just fine?
    Well…lets go back…
    Have you ever had enemies before?
    Did God ever defeat your enemies?
    Yes…of course.
    I had an Aunt, once who had an open vision of Israel…and their battles.
    God, as He revealed to my Aunt, the battle…after the enemy was defeated….God said… “Did you know…after I won for them…they took the credit?”
    Israel…no matter what the world does to you…you are the apple of God’s eye…blessed…dear to His heart…and Your Messiah is with you…know Him!
    I am glad that no one can hurt Israel…not the short two year battle…after your national start in 1948…not in 1967, or 1973…not now…not ever….
    I am glad that my Mother was pro-Israel.
    Those who stand against Israel, have a huge battle…you not only fight against the Hebrews…those who have survived the enemies in the land, with Moses and Joshua and Caleb, like the Cannanites, Haman, Hitler…Obama…Russia…Hamas.
    The inhabitants of Israel should be extremely hopeful! Why…because those who would defeat you…are just as of the days of old…they tremble…(of course you do not believe me)…yes, they tremble…and, you will stand, and thrive.
    God Himself is with you…and though some may injure you…hurt you…even kill you….the place God gave you…like Joshua…He gave to you. Act like it…and, by the way…be happy. You are on the winning team…no matter what new, vogue, anti-Semitic propaganda comes out of any country…any news paper…Governmental power.
    Stick and stones…

  • Merrianne Mathies

    Thank you. Hopefully California will be the next state to ban the BDS movement. It worries me, the blatant anti-semitism we are experiencing worldwide. Perhaps we can stem the tide state by state.

    Next, I would like to see us take on the media’s biased reporting.

  • Yasher Koach

    Yasher Koach