Attacks against Israel have shifted from the fringes of the Democratic party to the mainstream with a new move to target the Jewish state.
In 2017, North Carolina Democrat Governor Roy Cooper signed into law legislation that would bar the state from doing business with companies that boycott the Jewish state of Israel. Now, that law is under threat by a new breed of North Carolina Democrats.
A resolution proposed during the North Carolina Democrats' Virtual Summer 2021 SEC meeting called for the Democratic caucus at the North Carolina General Assembly to explore ways to repeal the legislation curtailing the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, calling it "an unconstitutional law infringing on the First Amendment right to free speech."
According to those with knowledge of the events, the resolution passed by a majority vote.
The anti-BDS bill initially passed the state House of Representatives by a vote of 96-19 and the state Senate by 45-3.
Arutz Sheva noted that as of 2017, "North Carolina businesses conduct nearly $140 million per year in exports and commerce with Israel."
The North Carolina Democrats called the state law "unconstitutional," and its repeal "essential to advocate freely for the restoration of full human rights for the Palestinian people and to end Israel’s practice of apartheid and persecution as the law is inherently anti-Palestinian."
Thirty-three states have passed laws or issued executive orders against the antisemitic BDS movement, which targets the Jewish state. The move by the North Carolina Democrats was highlighted by a recent high-profile boycott effort by an American company.
Last month, Ben & Jerry’s announced that the US-based ice-cream maker will not renew its license agreement with its current Israeli partner and to boycott the Biblical areas of Judea and Samaria in Israel. Unilever, Ben and Jerry’s parent company and said in a statement, "We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)."
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned Ben and Jerry’s Unilever CEO Alan Jope that the ice cream maker’s decision to stop sales would have "severe consequences, legal and otherwise."
Israel Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said, "Over 30 states in the United States have passed anti-BDS legislation in recent years. I plan on asking each of them to enforce these laws against Ben & Jerry’s. They will not treat the State of Israel like this without a response."
According to The Daily Wire, following massive backlash to Unilever’s decision, "Ben & Jerry’s franchisees located in major American cities that operate 30 stores with a total of $23.3 million in revenue annually wrote a letter asking Unilever to rescind the boycott, not for any moral reason, but because they were losing money."
The letter stated, "There is a danger that the pursuit of social justice will descend into political correctness or result in the adoption of overly simplistic solutions by people who share a single view of the world that misconstrue complex problems in which multiple claims of justice are implicated. The imposition of such narrow prescriptions does not advance social justice or the pursuit of a values-led business in any meaningful way."
Last week, Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis warned Unilever that the company had 90 days to reverse the boycott targeting the Jewish state. Florida would bar state pension funds from holding investments in Unilever, among other penalties.
DeSantis said, "By placing Ben & Jerry’s Fortune 500 parent company Unilever on our List of Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel, Florida is sending a message to corporate America that we will defend our strong relationship with the Jewish State. I will not stand idly by as woke corporate ideologues seek to boycott and divest from our ally, Israel."
Earlier this month, to support the move by Ben and Jerry's, a group of seven Democrats in the House of Representatives recently sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asking her to review (and calling on her to revoke) the tax-exempt status of American charities that provide support to Jewish people living in the State of Israel. Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cori Bush, André Carson, Mark Pocan, Ayanna Pressley and Betty McCollum signed the letter.
In 2020, Democrats in the US House of Representatives blocked consideration for an anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions bill. Members of the progressive "Squad" regularly post and promote antisemitic and anti-Israel statements. House Democratic leadership has continuously failed to condemn them.