(Queens, NY) – Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) announced that he will introduce legislation which would prohibit New York State from contracting with corporations or individuals engaged in the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel.
Boycott Divest and Sanction, otherwise known as BDS, is an organized movement designed to weaken and delegitimize Israel through economic isolation. The BDS movement has come under frequent criticism from credible organizations and news outlets for being anti-Semitic and anti-democratic.
“With anti-Semitism on the rise both at home and abroad, it is critical that we confront this hatred at its inception and send a strong message that New York will stand against discrimination. Cloaking anti-Semitism in a shroud of false pretense will not obscure intolerant and hateful motives.”
According to the FBI, anti-Semitic attacks were the #1 religious-based hate crime in America with over 60% targeting Jewish-Americans. New York continues to lead the nation in anti-Semitic attacks, seeing an increase of 21% last year alone according to the Anti Defamation League.
This proposal, which will be introduced before the next legislative session begins, follows similar proposals from Illinois, South Carolina, and Ohio. The proposed prohibition against conducting business with companies or persons engaged in the effort to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel will be the most comprehensive legislative measure against the organized BDS movement to be introduced in the New York State Senate to date.