Two US Congressmen, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), have introduced a bill designed to support Israel in the face of Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) efforts, reported Breitbart.
The pair take issue with the way Israel, America’s “greatest ally in the Middle East”, is targeted, while serious rights offenders around the world are given a free pass by activists.
The BDS movement, initiated by Omar Barghouti in 2005, with the support of 171 Palestinian NGOs, seeks to pressure Israel into “ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the [anti-terror separation] Wall [between the West Bank and Israeli territories]; recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.”
To do so, the movement encourages supporters to boycott Israeli products and institutions, divest from companies which do business with Israel and impose sanctions against Israel in a variety of political arenas.
Today, the BDS movement is promoted extensively by Islamists and leftist groups on American academic campuses. The movement lays all the blame for Israeli-Palestinian tensions exclusively on Israel. Barghouti himself, who calls for academic boycotts of Israel despite having earned his own degree at Tel Aviv University, has been accused of racism and anti-Semitism.
The “Boycott our Enemies, not Israel” act is designed to make companies think twice about supporting BDS. If passed, the act would require companies to certify that they do not boycott Israel in order to earn government contracts. False certifications would also incur stiff penalties.
In a statement about the bill, Lamborn wrote, “Today, we introduced H.R. 1572 to thwart efforts by Palestinian organizations to pressure different corporations, companies and educational institutions to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel. Recently the Palestinian Authority declared a boycott against Israeli goods, depriving their own population of most basically needed products. Threats of similar actions emerged out of the European Union. These attacks and the falsehoods being spread about Israel are harmful to any honest effort to bring peace to the region.
“My bill will require that any prospective contractors with the U.S. Government will certify that they are not taking part in any boycott against Israel. The bill also includes penalties for false certifications, including the ability to ban companies that breach its parameters from doing future business with the U.S. Government. Our government business practices should not play any role in harming our greatest ally in the Middle East.
“Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East, a place where all men and women enjoy freedom regardless of their faith or ethnicity. In fact Jewish owned factories and companies in Israel and in Judea and Samaria are among the chief employers of the Palestinian community. Palestinian workers get equal pay and equal treatment and enjoy benefits.”
DeSantis added, “The BDS movement represents a disgraceful attempt to single out Israel for punitive treatment. This bill sends a strong message that we will not allow taxpayer funds to go to contractors who participate in this contemptible charade. It is imperative that the United States send a strong message of condemnation by refusing to fund participating contractors using taxpayer money.”