The New York Legislature had unsuccessfully tried to push through anti-boycott legislation for months, and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the executive order just days before the legislative session ended. It was a classic end around the legislatibve process, Cuomo met strong opposition from over 100 organizations. Civil liberties groups and pro-Palestinian organizations have declared Cuomo’s order unconstitutional and a form of 21st century McCarthyism. Several other states have also moved to support Israel and prevent their governments and agencies from doing business with companies or individuals that endorse the boycott.
On Democracy Now (June 9) Rebecca Vilkermoson of Jewish Voice for Peace went right to the heart of the matter.
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions call is a demand according to international law. It is very simple: again, end to occupation, full rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel and right of return for refugees. All those are inscribed in international law.
The idea that demanding from Israel that it stop violating the human rights of Palestinians, and to use a tool, which has been used, as a way to create change when governments are unwilling to do so, is something that is used and until those conditions end. It’s not against Israel forever. It’s not against Israel because it’s a Jewish state. It’s against Israel because—specifically because of its human rights abuses and its dispossession of Palestinians. So I think it’s very important to keep that in mind.
It’s not anti-Semitic. In fact, in my experience, in the experience of Jewish Voice for Peace, the Boycott National Committee, which is the representative of all the Palestinian organizations that have called globally for support for BDS, has—calls very much for universal human rights. That includes speaking out against anti-Semitism, against all forms of oppression and racism. And so, they apply those values equally. And so, we’re very proud and honored to be part of that movement fighting for human rights, fighting against Palestinian dispossession.
Anti-semitic, my ass. Pro justice.
Wake up Israel and smell the Torah.