The governors of all 50 US states signed a declaration condemning the anti-Israel BDS movement as antithetical to American values.
The governors of all 50 US states on Thursday signed a statement declaring the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement as standing in opposition to their values and those of the US in general.
“The goals of the BDS movement are antithetical to our values and the values of our respective states, our support for Israel as a vital US ally, important economic partner and champion of freedom,” the letter states.
BDS seeks “to isolate Israel—a pluralistic nation with deep cultural, familial, security, educational, scientific and commercial bonds with our state and with the United States as a whole—rather than recognize the profound mutual benefits of our engagement with it. They malign a trusted ally that, while forced to defend itself against repeated and ongoing attempts to annihilate it, has consistently extended its hand in peace to its Palestinian neighbors and to states across the Middle East and around the world…
“At this critical time, in the face of the virulent movement to promote anti-Israel boycotts both in this country and around the globe, we strongly condemn the BDS movement as incompatible with the values of our states and our country,” the statement concludes.
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) praised the governors for signing the declaration.
“Our nation’s 50 governors, as well as the District of Columbia mayor, recognize the pernicious goals of the BDS movement, which singles out Israel from among all the nations of the world for relentless and undue criticism, and whose efforts undermine the prospects for advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace,” stated David Harris, CEO of AJC.
“Governors across our country know very well the enormous value of the US-Israel partnership in every sphere imaginable, and many have been central to nurturing their own state’s beneficial ties to Israel,” Harris added.
The letter also expressed support for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, while individual states have recognized and supported Israel’s continued presence in Judea and Samaria.
The governors reaffirmed their commitment to “the principle of two states for two peoples, existing side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition, and achieved through direct, bilateral negotiations,” adding that the BDS movement “undermines peacemaking by suggesting that economic and political pressure on Israel can replace real negotiation.”
Texas was the most recent state to sign into law an anti-BDS bill, becoming the 18th US state to fight the anti-Israel boycott movement.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed an executive order banning state agencies from investing in companies that support boycotts on Israel.
The BDS movement promotes financial, academic and cultural boycotts against Israel, ostensibly as a nonviolent struggle against the so-called “Israeli occupation.” Critics say its activities are a modern form of anti-Semitism and that its true objective is to destroy the State of Israel.