On Saturday afternoon, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed an historic anti-boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) bill, Assembly Bill 2844, into law, effectively barring companies that engage in discrimination against any sovereign state — including the Jewish state of Israel — from doing business with the Golden State.
The bill, which was introduced by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), and co-authored by Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), had overwhelmingly passed in both houses of the legislature last month. California’s State Senate approved the bill by a vote of 34 to 1 on August 24, and the State Assembly passed it by 69 to 1 six days later.
Many different groups reacted by lauding the anti-BDS bill. The Simon Wiesenthal Center hailed Brown.
“Every defeat of the global BDS movement is an investment for peace and is a powerful blow against extremists. This victory is especially meaningful as it comes from America’s leading state,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Associate Dean of the leading Jewish Human Rights NGO, said in a statement released from Jerusalem.
Cooper added, “More and more, BDS is being exposed as a cynical, hypocritical, anti-peace vendetta that seeks to demonize the Jewish state and all supporters of Zion. The Wiesenthal Center is committed to battle against BDS on campuses, churches, and in the halls of power.”
The Israeli-American Coalition for Action also issued a statement praising Brown for implementing the historic legislation.
“We applaud Governor Brown for signing this groundbreaking legislation,” said Shawn Evenhaim, Chairman of IAC for Action. “This new law sends a strong message that the state of California will accept its responsibility to protect its residents from the systemic hate and discrimination spread by the BDS movement and its proponents.”
The only two legislators to vote against AB 2844 were Democrats. They were Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) in the state Senate, and Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Monterey).
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