The Campaign to Legislate Support for Settlements: Taking the Battle to the States

In 2014, opponents of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel began promoting legislation in various U.S. states denouncing the BDS movement.

In 2015, these efforts shifted/expanded to mirror efforts in the U.S. Congress to hijack concerns about BDS against Israel in order to pass legislation mandating that Israeli settlements be treated, in effect, as part of sovereign Israel.

At the outset of 2016, it is already clear that these efforts are continuing and building. Indeed, the clear trend at the state-level is moving away from anti-BDS resolutions in favor of binding legislation to – in effect – have states boycott, divest from, and sanction companies that engage in BDS against Israel, or that in any concrete way differentiate between Israel and the settlements.

This table  -- which will be updated regularly and which is based on data drawn from the websites of the various state legislatures -- is intended to help people understand and follow what is happening at the state level. 

(Do you know about legislation missing from the table? Please let me know -

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Settlement Product Labeling Policies, U.S. vs. EU

The current U.S. and EU approaches are similar in that both bar producers and exporters of products made in settlements from indicating that the point of origin of the products is Israel. The approaches differ, however, in how far they go. U.S. labeling, in effect, differentiates between Israel on the one hand, and the West Bank/Gaza on the other. The EU differentiates not only between Israel and the West Bank, but within the West Bank between Israeli and Palestinian goods. This difference reflects, fundamentally, the different historical and economic circumstances in which the respective regulations were adopted.

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APN Legislative Round-Up: Jan. 22, 2016 (published early due to blizzard)

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APN Legislative Round-Up: Jan. 1-15, 2016

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APN's Lara Friedman for JTA: No comparison between Israeli NGO bill and US law

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is trying to sell the argument that her pending “NGO transparency” bill is no different than a U.S. law called the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA. In reality, the two pieces of legislation are worlds apart in intent and effect, and the differences go to the heart of the problems with Shaked’s bill.

First, FARA applies to all foreign funding – governmental and private – of U.S. persons or organizations, ensuring transparency about any foreign donor’s efforts to sway U.S. policy. The Shaked bill applies only to funding from foreign governments – funding that is already transparent under existing Israeli law. The measure does not apply to funding from nongovernmental foreign sources.

This distinction is neither accidental nor trivial. Israel’s progressive nongovernmental organizations are the main recipients of funding from foreign governments that support the progressive, democratic values embodied by these NGOs. Shaked, who has made clear her desire to quash dissent, has crafted her bill to target only these NGOs while permitting those that promote agendas more in line with her own views to continue to operate as always. The discrimination implicit in this bill is so clear that even Israeli Knesset member Michael Oren, a former U.S. ambassador, has criticized its “one-sided exposure, which ignores the funding sources of extreme-right nonprofits.”

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APN Legislative Round-Up: 12/31/15, Part 2 (the FY16 Omnibus)

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APN Legislative Round-Up: 12/31/15, Part 1

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APN to House Members: The Pro-Israel Position is to Oppose H. Res. 567

Today, APN sent the following message to foreign policy staffers in the offices of members of the House of Representatives:

On behalf of Americans for Peace Now (APN), America’s veteran grassroots, Jewish, Zionist, pro-peace organization and the sister organization to the Israeli Peace Now movement (Shalom Achshav), I’m writing to urge your boss to refuse to cosponsor H. Res. 567 – a resolution that would reverse almost 5 decades of U.S. policy with respect to Israeli settlements – and to oppose this resolution if it is brought to a vote.

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APN Legislative Round-Up: December 5-16, 2015

1. Bills & Resolutions
2. Hearings
3. On the Record

NOTE: Apologies for the erratic Round-Up schedule. Travel etc. Next edition will be mid-week next week.

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APN Legislative Round-Up: December 4, 2015

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