Louisiana Passes Anti-BDS Law: 5 Reasons Every US State Should Follow

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons / 25 States in the US have Already Passed anti-BDS Legislation

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued an executive order on Tuesday prohibiting state agencies from doing any business with companies that engage in boycotts of Israel.

"The state of Louisiana unequivocally rejects the BDS campaign and stands firmly with Israel," read Edwards' executive order.

Louisiana is the twenty-fifth US state to enact legislation against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement, a discriminatory campaign designed to weaken and destroy Israel through economic isolation.

Here are 5 reasons why other US states should follow Louisiana’s lead and pass anti-BDS legislation:

1. The BDS movement promotes Anti-Semitism.

The BDS movement promotes false views about Israel and Jewish people as whole. BDS is a prejudiced one-sided movement that exploits stereotypes about Jews, promoting a new form of anti-Semitism. In this light, it is not surprising that pro-BDS information is featured on neo-Nazi, Holocaust denial and other overtly anti-Semitic websites such as the “Daily Stormer.”  The BDS movement is also promoted by some of the world’s most notorious anti-Semites, such as David Duke.

2. The BDS movement rejects peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The major leader of the BDS movement, Omar Barghouti, has repeatedly expressed his opposition to Israel’s right to exist even within the 1967 borders. On at least three separate occasions (1967, 2001, and 2007), Israel sought to make peace with the Palestinians in exchange for the acknowledgement of Israel’s right to exist. Each time Israel received a resounding “no” from the Palestinian side. Israel shouldn’t be punished for the Palestinian leaderships’ refusal to officially recognize the Jewish state.  Instead, the international community should continue to work with both Jewish and Palestinian leaders towards peace based on recognized coexistence. BDS, a movement which rejects peace, doesn’t work towards this goal.

3. BDS is bad for the Palestinian Economy

Boycotting Israel is worse for the Palestinian economy than for the Israeli economy. Most people who participate in the BDS boycott have never been to Israel or the West Bank. If they had visited, they would understand that many Israeli companies such as SodaStream and Freightos employ both Israelis and Palestinians. If these companies are boycotted, many Palestinians along with Israelis would lose their jobs and main source of income.

4. The BDS movement is one-sided and places blame solely on Israel for the conflict.

When the entirety of the blame and sanctions are directed against Israel, something is wrong. The BDS movement fails to acknowledge that Israel has tried multiple times to make peace with the Palestinians. The BDS movement also fails to acknowledge that currently Palestinians are governed by two governments who oppose each-other in Fatah and Hamas. Israel citizens have been subject to multiple suicide bombing campaigns by Palestinians. Israel has one of the best records of human rights of any country in the world. There is universal freedom of speech in Israel in public, courts, and on social media. Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Atheists live together peacefully. Arabs serve in the Knesset and in the military.  Israel has a far better record on women’s rights, gay rights, and environmental rights than any other country in the Middle East and most other countries in the world. Still, Israel is the only country targeted by the BDS movement.

5. BDS is counter-intuitive and has only isolated Palestinians. 

BDS has never achieved its goal of isolating Israel and has only proven that the BDS movement is disconnected from on-the-ground realities of the Middle East. The Israeli economy is currently booming and exports in 2017 exceeded 100 billion dollars. Israelis continue to come to the West Bank to do business with Palestinians and most Palestinians continue to buy Israeli goods and work with Israelis. Palestinians even earn a better salary when working for Israeli companies. When Israeli companies are boycotted, Palestinians also lose their well paying jobs and ability to support their families. By attempting to isolate Israel from the international arena, the BDS movement counter-intuitively isolates Palestinians. 

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States that have passed anti-BDS laws
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