LOS ANGELES (JTA) – A bill aiming to counter the anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement, or BDS, was introduced in the California State Legislature.
The measure introduced Monday forbids the state government from contracting with companies “engaging in boycotts based on race, color, religion, gender or nationality.”
Travis Allen, a Republican assemblyman, in introducing the bill said that “boycotts of entities and individuals affiliated with specific countries can amount to ethnic, religious, racial and/or national origin discrimination.”
“No group better demonstrates this fact than the BDS movement, whose use of false, demonizing and delegitimizing propaganda against the State of Israel has become a pretext for the expression of anti-Jewish bigotry,” said Allen, of Huntington Beach in Southern California’s Orange County.
Allen added that the bill “ensures that California won’t support businesses that actively seek to undermine our mutually beneficial trading relationships, based on prejudice.”
Last year, the legislatures of South Carolina and Illinois approved similar bills.