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Rubio, Colleagues Reintroduce Legislation to Combat Anti-Israel BDS Campaign

May 18, 2023 | Press Releases

Israel’s opponents are using boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) as a hateful weapon to delegitimize the Jewish State and its allies. At a time when anti-Israel boycotts are popping up around the globe, the United States, Israel and our allies need new ways to defend against the evolving threat of economic warfare.

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) reintroduced the Combating BDS Act of 2023. The legislation would help state and local governments stand up to the anti-Israel BDS movement, which seeks to delegitimize the Jewish state of Israel by inflicting economic damage and starve it of commerce. The bill would increase protections for state and local governments in the U.S. that divest from, prohibit investment in, or otherwise restrict contracting with firms that knowingly engage in commerce-related or investment-related BDS activity attacking Israel, as well as persons doing business in Israel or Israeli-controlled territories.

Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mike Braun (R-IN), Rick Scott (R-FL), Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Steve Daines (R-MT) are original cosponsors. 

  • “The BDS movement is the single most destructive campaign of economic warfare against the Jewish state of Israel. Amid a rising tide of anti-Semitism, we must stand in firm solidarity with our closest democratic ally in the Middle East. This bill, which previously passed the Senate, would mark an important step toward bringing an end to the movement’s discriminatory efforts.” – Senator Rubio
  • “BDS is rooted in anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel. In a time of increasing attacks against the Jewish people, we need to help state and local governments stand up to those who wish to wipe Israel from the map.”– Senator Cassidy
  • “The anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement is hateful, disgusting and fuels anti-Semitism – it has no place in our nation. I was proud to lead an effort as Governor to show the world that Florida will not do business with those that boycott Israel. This good bill will continue that work by ensuring state and local governments have full authority to cancel or deny funding to organizations that support the BDS movement. I will always stand with our Jewish community and fight the BDS movement and anti-Semitism wherever it is found.”– Senator Scott
  • “The anti-Semitic BDS movement is dedicated to the delegitimization of Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East. The Combating BDS Act of 2023 would ensure that state and local governments in the United States have the tools they need to counter the discriminatory and hate-inspired conduct of the anti-Semitic BDS movement.”– Senator Hagerty

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