From the Desk of Howard Tevlowitz: ACTION ALERT – Combating BDS Act Amendment
Howard Tevlowitz, The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee
“I encourage you to call to THANK Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio for sponsoring the amendment that will help states combat BDS.”
Senator Bill Nelson- Washington DC Office 202.224.5274
Senator Marco Rubio- Washington DC Office 202.224.3041
The Combating BDS Act of 2016 (H.R.4514/S.2531) was introduced in early February by Congressmen Bob Dold (R-IL) and Juan Vargas (D-CA) in the House and by Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) in the Senate. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
The Combating BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Act affirms the authority of state and local governments to identify and divest from entities engaged in BDS activities against Israel. This clarification is important because, if passed, the Act would protect state and local governments from lawsuits contending that they are causing undue burden or discrimination against interstate or foreign commerce. Jewish Federations of North America believes the Combating BDS Act sends a strong message regarding Congress’ commitment to opposing BDS and supporting the ideals of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As you may already know, the National Defense Authorization Act 2017 (S.2943), a bill which authorizes appropriations for fiscal year 2017 for military activities of the federal government, is scheduled to be brought up for a vote in the Senate this week. We have recently learned that Senator Kirk (R-IL), along with Senators Manchin (D-WV), Roberts (R-KS), Menendez (D-NJ), Murkowski (R-AK), Cardin (D-MD), Rubio (R-FL), Vitter (R-LA), Tillis (R-NC), Cruz (R-TX), Portman (R-OH), Ayotte (R-NH), Hatch (R-UT), and Nelson (D-FL), has submitted an amendment, S.Amdt.4172, that would attach the Combating BDS Act of 2016 to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2017.
If you are not a Florida resident, we encourage you to contact your senators and urge them to co-sponsor S.Amdt.4172 and to vote for the amendment when it is offered during the upcoming NDAA vote. To find contact information for your senators, please click here.
If you have any questions about this bill, BDS, or Israel advocacy, please contact Jessi Sheslow, Director of Community Relations, at 941.343.2109 or [email protected].