(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) The California legislature passed a bill barring all state bodies, including universities, from maintaining ties with organizations that support anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions activities, Israel Hayom learned Thursday.
The move marks a significant achievement for the Israeli American Council (IAC), which seeks to counteract the BDS movement on legal, technological and public diplomacy levels.
The bill prohibits the state from investing in companies "engaging in actions that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or otherwise limit commercial relations with the state of Israel, or companies based in the state of Israel or in territories controlled by the state of Israel."
The bill was the result of considerable lobbying efforts by the IAC. Likewise, earlier this week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill banning the state's pension fund from investing in companies that boycott Israel.
The IAC views the California bill as sending a significant message to the BDS movement.
“It makes it clear that [California] taxpayers don't have to fund boycott activities,” said Shawn Evenhaim, of the IAC-affiliated Israel American Coalition for Action. “We're proud of the fact we were able to spur the Israeli-American community to push for this bill, as it will now, and in the future, protect California's diverse population from discrimination."