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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Illinois passes Bill to boycott the anti-Israel boycotters

In Canada, we should be cutting funds to Universities whose Student Unions vote for boycott Israel in an amount commensurate to what the universities give those student unions in funds and facilities/services.
The Illinois House just joined the state’s senate in unanimously passing a  bill that would prevent the state’s pension fund from investing in companies that boycott Israel. Gov. Bruce Rauner has pledged to sign the historic “anti-BDS” bill.

The significance of the bill cannot be underestimated. European countries have in recent years been whispering dark threats in corporate ears about the “legal and economic risks” of doing business with Israeli companies. The vagueness of these warnings is a testament to their legal groundlessness. But such scare tactics could not help but affect, at the margin, corporate decision-making. Now, the EU will – if it is honest – have to warn businesses of the legal and economic risks of consciously refusing to do business with such Israeli companies.

More generally, the Illinois bill is part of a broad political revulsion over the long-simmering BDS movement (“Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” – the strategy of economic warfare and delegitimization against Israel). While BDS has gotten most of its successes with low-hanging fruit like British academic unions and pop singers, the anti-boycott efforts are getting an enthusiastic reception in real governments, on the state and federal level. And that is because the message of the BDS movement – Israel as a uniquely villainous state – is fundamentally rejected by the vast majority of Americans...

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