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New York Senate bills would boycott companies boycotting Israel

Feb 11, 2016 12:03 am
Two bills in the New York State Senate would prohibit the state from doing business with anyone boycotting Israel, and set up an actual list of such companies. Senate Bill S6378A would, "prohibit state contracting with, and state investment in, persons and businesses that promote or engage in activities to boycott American allied nations." Local state senators Steve McLaughlin, George Amedore, and Kathy Marchione have already voted for this bill. The other, S6086, "relates to purchasing restrictions on persons boycotting Israel and the investment of certain public funds in companies boycotting Israel; requires the commissioner of general services to compile a list of companies boycotting Israel and establishes that such companies will be considered non-responsive bidders." That bill is currently referred to the finance committee. The first bill sanctions any company boycotting any American ally, but currently the only boycotts of American allies are of Israel, largely over its war crimes against Palestinians. Both bills have similar proposals in the New York Assembly, Assembly Bill A9036 and Assembly Bill A8220, both currently in the Government Operations committee. The National Lawyers Guild has issued a statement on these bills saying, "While people may have differing opinions about the issues pertaining to Israel and Palestine, debate on issues of public concern is the lifeblood of the First Amendment, and the State of New York should not be in the business of punishing those who line up on one side or the other of such debates."
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