Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced their opposition to a bill intended to protect the state of Israel from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The two wrote a joint letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer detailing their opposition to the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act.”
“We ask that you not include the ‘Israel Anti-Boycott Act,’ (S. 720) in any year-end funding bill,” the two wrote. “While we do not support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, we remain resolved to our constitutional oath to defend the rights of every American to express their views peacefully without fear of or actual punishment by the government.”
The BDS movement aims to boycott products made in areas that some claim Israel is “occupying,” in order to put economic pressure on the nation state.
The movement has been associated with anti-Semitism and has received the support of both radical Islamic groups and white supremacist organizations.
The bipartisan “Israel Anti-Boycott Act,” which is being sponsored by Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland and Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, would punish individuals and organizations that participate in the economic harassment of Israel.