The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO) for signing into law, on March 18, a bill that requires the state’s retirement program to divest from companies that boycott Israel.
Colorado House Bill 1284, the bipartisan motion sponsored by state Representatives Dan Nordberg and Dominick Moreno, was signed into law by Democratic Governor Hickenlooper, who has argued that this legislation is necessary to protect an important American ally.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We applaud the Colorado legislature and all those who worked hard to pass this law, especially Governor Hickenlooper for quickly signing the bipartisan anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) legislation.
“This new law requires Colorado to create a blacklist of for-profit entities that have ‘economic prohibitions against Israel’ and requires the state pension fund to divest from these blacklisted companies.
“Governor Hickenlooper and the Colorado legislature thereby signal the important message that there are costs for companies that engage in BDS against Israel, its close, long-standing American ally. Israel has been the object of a campaign of delegitimization by the BDS movement, and BDS aims, as its founders have frankly stated, for the dissolution of the world’s only Jewish state.
“BDS is not about justice for Palestinians –– if it were, the BDS movement would also be opposed to Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority and Hamas, both of which oppress and impoverish their populations, by using vast amounts of international aid to indoctrinate Palestinian children to become terrorists, to kill and be killed as their sole, national and religious duty.
“Hamas in particular uses funds to build up illegal armies and offensive weaponry stocks. Sadly, the largest number of Hamas’ victims will be Palestinians themselves, when Hamas launches another war on Israel from Gaza.
“BDS is not a friend of Palestinian Arabs –– it is merely the enemy of the Jewish state of Israel. BDS is the modern incarnation of age-old anti-Semitic boycotts perpetrated against Jews, which Theodore Herzl condemned 120 years ago, and which Israeli leaders on both the right and the left have spoken out against in recent years.
“In 1993, when the PLO signed the Oslo accords, Palestinian Arab leadership agreed to cooperate economically with Israel. Now, instead, PA leaders and related entities, including anti-Israel hate groups such as ‘Students for Justice in Palestine,’ ‘Friends of Sabeel-North America,’ and ‘Jewish Voice for Peace,’ have mounted worldwide anti-Semitic economic warfare against Jews and the Jewish state.
“BDS also harms what remains of peaceful co-existence, by needlessly damaging the economic well-being of Arab Palestinians. Countless Palestinians have lost well-paying jobs in Jewish-owned businesses that were damaged by anti-Israel anti-Jewish boycotts.
“It is painful to see that there are a number of far left-wing Jewish groups that actively promote various forms of anti-Israel, anti-Jewish BDS, including Partners for Progressive Israel, J Street (by honoring, featuring, and sponsoring BDS leaders at conferences and college campuses), Jewish Voice for Peace, Open Hillel, Americans for Peace Now, The Third Narrative (subsidiary of Ameinu), and the New Israel Fund, which funds BDS groups, including the groups that built BDS infrastructure.
“Far left groups, including Partners for Progressive Israel and J Street, have been actively working to stop the passing of anti-BDS legislation.
“The ZOA hopes that more states will follow Colorado’s example.”