August 17, 2019

NYC Mayor Denounces BDS in Radio Interview

New York City Mayor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill de Blasio leaves a rally against new restrictions on abortion passed by legislatures in eight states including Alabama and Georgia, in New York City, U.S., May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gave an unequivocal “no” to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in a recent radio interview.

Speaking to radio host Nachum Segal during New York City’s Celebrate Israel Parade on June 2, de Blasio said, “New York City stands with Israel. We say, ‘Yes to Israel.’ We say, ‘No to BDS.’”

De Blasio, who announced on May 16 that he was running for president in the Democratic primary, has been previously critical of the BDS movement. In 2016, de Blasio said at the Hampton Synagogue that progressive support of BDS is “ahistorical,” arguing that BDS is antithetical to “the very notion that the Jewish people need a homeland in a still dangerous and unsettled world.”

“You can disagree with a particular government’s policy at that moment in time, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t believe in that nation, or its right to exist, or its founding ideals,” de Blasio said. “Israel, in good times and bad, tough times and easier times, has been a beacon.”

De Blasio also criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) dual loyalty comments in a March press conference as “unacceptable.”

“I believe strongly in the state of Israel,” de Blasio said. “I don’t feel beholden one bit to a foreign power. I’m a proud American who believes in the state of Israel and believes it must exist.”

According to Jewish Telegraphic Agency, around 40,000 people participated in the recent Celebrate Israel Parade on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. ZAKA Search and Rescue President Edward Mermelstein served as the grand marshal at the parade.