Jewish Democratic Council of America Endorses Anti-BDS Congressional Bill

December 7, 2018
Screenshot from Facebook.

The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) endorsed the Israel Anti-Boycott Act in a press release on Thursday as a means to fight against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The Israel Anti-Boycott, which was sponsored Reps. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) and Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), bars companies from engaging an international boycotts against Israel. Cardin is currently aiming to get the bill attached to a December spending package.

“The Jewish Democratic Council of America opposes efforts to delegitimize Israel through global boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) efforts,” Halie Soifer, executive director of JDCA, said in a statement. “The Israel Anti-Boycott Act is consistent with the 2016 Democratic Party Platform that states Democrats ‘oppose any effort to delegitimize Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement’ and is also aligned with JDCA’s platform of opposition to global BDS.

“We support the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, as amended, and urge passage of this legislation during the 115th Congress,” the statement continued.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has also expressed support for the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, as their website states that the legislation is “designed to update and extend existing law to include boycotts by international governmental organizations.”

“It is not intended to limit the First Amendment rights of U.S. individuals and companies who want to criticize Israel or penalize those who want to refuse to do business with Israel based on their own personal convictions,” the ADL’s website adds. “Ask your Members to support the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.”

J Street, on the other hand, is opposed to the bill.

The legislation draws no distinction between Israel and the West Bank, effectively extending U.S. legal protections to illegal settlements,” the organization said in a press release. “The ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] has also flagged major free speech issues, noting cases where the bill would penalize individuals and companies for exercising their First Amendment right to participate in boycotts.”

“While J Street has always been clear about our opposition to the Global BDS Movement, this legislation is absolutely the wrong way to oppose BDS,” the statement added.

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.