Anti-BDS bills to feature prominently at AIPAC conference


At least 23 states have passed anti-BDS legislation. (photo: Al Jazeera)

Annual meeting to push for measures that counter BDS boycotts.

By Dalia Hatuqa | Al Jazeera | Mar 3, 2018

BDS opponents have recently been dealt a series of setbacks, most notably the declaration by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights last month that it had identified more than 200 businesses, 22 of them American, that could be held accountable for operating in settlements.

Israel supporters in the US are gearing up for AIPAC’s much-vaunted annual policy conference, with measures to counter the widening campaign to boycott Israel and its West Bank settlements expected to feature prominently in the powerful lobbying group’s agenda.

This includes legislation that several Republican and Democratic Congress members have sponsored to curb the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to pressure Israel into ending its occupation of Arab and Palestinian land.

AIPAC set the stage for its conference, which runs from Sunday through Tuesday and features leaders of both parties, by sending out an “action alert” to rally support for two anti-boycott bills in the House and Senate.

“Israel has long been targeted by the pernicious Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Together we must continue the fight to protect Israel from economic warfare and American companies legally doing business with the Jewish state,” the alert said.

“The United Nations and other international governmental organizations have long singled out Israel with unfair criticism and have led efforts to isolate the Jewish state politically and economically.”

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