The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has strongly praised New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing an executive order against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The order requires New York state agencies to divest themselves of and not do business with companies and organizations aligned with the BDS movement, which seeks to delegitimize and ultimately destroy Israel as the sovereign state of the Jewish people. The ZOA also strongly praises Senator Charles Schumer (D–NY) for pledging to introduce a similar law on the federal level.
At the signing, Governor Cuomo said New York is Israel’s “true friend … it’s very simple. If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you … If you divert revenues from Israel, New York will divert revenues from you. If you sanction Israel, New York will sanction you. Period … As a Democrat, I always took for granted that there was a natural relationship with Israel that was unquestionable … You now have aspects of the Democratic Party that are being critical of Israel as being disproportionate in its response” (‘NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs executive order against BDS,’ Jewish Telegraphic Agency, June 5, 2016).
Senator Schumer has also praised Governor Cuomo, saying that “I think what the governor has done is an excellent idea. I think that the state (of New York) should not do any business with any company that participates in BDS, and I am looking at introducing a federal law to do the same thing. BDS is a movement that is just totally unfair to Israel. They hold Israel to one standard and hold the other countries, including those who are sworn enemies to Israel, to another standard.”
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We praise Governor Cuomo for taking this principled and important decision to sanction the BDS movement, which, as its own founders have frankly stated, is dedicated to the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state, the world’s only Jewish state.New York State Senator Jack M. Martin (R) has also praised Governor Cuomo’s action on BDS, saying that, “As the Senate sponsor of legislation to prohibit New York State from doing business with entities that engage in the BDS movement, I applaud Governor Cuomo for issuing this Executive Order. Our tax dollars should not be used to support an intolerant movement whose sole purpose is to harm Israel, one of our closest allies. This sends a strong message that New York State stands side by side with Israel just as she has stood with us. To reinforce that message, the Assembly should pass anti-BDS legislation, just as the Senate has done, before the end of session and codify these safeguards into law.” Senator Martin’s anti-BDS bill (S6378A) passed by a vote of 55-6 in the New York State Senate last January.
“We also applaud and eagerly await the result of Senator Schumer’s efforts to enact a federal law that penalizes companies that conform to the BDS campaign against Israel.
“Governor Cuomo has thereby sent the important signal that there are costs for companies that engage in BDS against Israel, the U.S.’s close, long-standing American ally.
“In signing this executive order, Governor Cuomo has made New York the first state in which the governor has taken executive action against the BDS movement.
“A number of state legislatures have passed anti-BDS legislation, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
“We particularly wish to praise Governor Cuomo’s statesmanlike, courageous, and unambiguous words of concern and criticism of the drift to an anti-Israel position that has occurred in some quarters of the Democratic Party.
“BDS is not about justice for Palestinians –– if it were, the BDS movement would be strongly opposed to Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority and Hamas, both of which oppress and harm the economies of their populations, by corruption, using vast amounts of international aid to build terror tunnels, pensions to Jew-killers families and indoctrinate Palestinian children to become terrorists, to kill and be killed as their sole, national and religious duty.
“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.
“BDS also harms what remains of peaceful co-existence, by needlessly damaging the economic well-being of Palestinian Arabs. Countless Palestinian Arabs have lost well-paying jobs in Jewish-owned businesses that were damaged by anti-Israel anti-Jewish boycotts.”
The premise of the BDS movement is also completely false. Judea and Samaria (West Bank) was not sovereign Arab land. After the Arabs rejected the 1948 UN resolution for an Arab State in Judea and Samaria (not Jerusalem), it became unallocated land and could legally even revert back to the Jews. Jordan illegally occupied Judea/Samaria/eastern Jerusalem from 1948-67. Only two countries recognized this illegal Jordanian occupation and Jordan relinquished their claims in 1988. The Jews have far greater legal, political, and religious claims to this land. Jerusalem is never even mentioned once in the Koran. Not to mention the Arabs rejected statehood in 1937, 1948, 2000, 2001, 2008, and never established a state from 1948-67 when they controlled Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem, and Gaza.