WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and four Republican colleagues introduced the Combating BDS Act of 2023. The legislation would help state and local governments stand up to the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to delegitimize the Jewish state of Israel by inflicting economic damage and starve it of commerce.
“BDS is rooted in anti-Semitism and hatred of Israel,” said Dr. Cassidy. “In a time of increasing attacks against the Jewish people, we need to help state and local governments stand up to those who wish to wipe Israel from the map.”
“The BDS movement is the single most destructive campaign of economic warfare against the Jewish state of Israel. Amid a rising tide of anti-Semitism, we must stand in firm solidarity with our closest democratic ally in the Middle East. This bill, which previously passed the Senate, would mark an important step toward bringing an end to the movement’s discriminatory efforts,” said Senator Rubio.
Israel’s opponents use BDS as a hateful weapon to delegitimize the Jewish State and its allies. At a time when anti-Israel boycotts are popping up around the globe, the United States, Israel and our allies need new ways to defend against the evolving threat of economic warfare. The bill would increase protections for state and local governments in the U.S. that divest from, prohibit investment in, or otherwise restrict contracting with firms that knowingly engage in commerce-related or investment-related BDS activity attacking Israel, as well as persons doing business in Israel or Israeli-controlled territories.
Cassidy and Rubio were joined by U.S. Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Rick Scott (R-FL), Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Steve Daines (R-MT) as original cosponsors.