The first event for the Israel Allies Foundation in Northwest Florida will be held at the Pensacola First Assembly of God Church on Tuesday evening, June 30th at 7:00PM. The event will feature speakers, Guy Rodgers, Director of Operations for the IAF Jerusalem Call and Florida State Rep. Mike Hill. The Israel Allies Foundation (IAF) supports the bi-partisan Congressional Israel Allies Caucus. IAF developed the first significant anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions state legislation enacted into law. In our June 2015 NER review of Manfred Gerstenfeld’s book, The War of a Million Cuts we wrote this about the IAF BDS model law.
On June 4, 2015, Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina signed into law a model anti-BDS law for adoption by other states and possibly at the federal level through amendment of the existing 1977 Anti-Boycott legislation that bars participation of US persons in boycotts, not sanctioned by the government. The blog Legal Insurrection reported:
[The new law prohibits[s] the state from doing business with firms or individuals who engage in a “boycott of a person or an entity based in or doing business with a jurisdiction with whom South Carolina can enjoy open trade.”
The South Carolina bill was signed into law a few weeks after Illinois passed legislation prohibiting the state from investing its pension funds in businesses that boycott Israel. Shortly afterwards Prof. Jacobson [of Cornell Law School] reported that New York had started working on a bill similar to the Illinois bill.
According to a spokesman for the Israel Allies Foundation, “a bloc of sponsors across 18 states has already committed to introducing similar legislation in their next legislative cycle.” The Israel Allies Foundation is working on fighting BDS at the state level.
If adopted in other jurisdictions in the US the South Carolina model might bring a halt to state university student associations passing anti-Israel divestment resolutions. It also might bring up short groups like J Street, the New Israel Fund and some Federations that have supported BDS proponents.
Daniel Williams, Chief Strategy Officer of the IAF and National Director of The Jerusalem Call in Washington, DC will be interviewed on 1330amWEBY on Tuesday, June 23rd at 4:00PM CDT (5:00PM EDT) by Your Turn host Mike Bates and New English Review Senior Editor, Jerry Gordon. Residents of Northwest Florida and adjacent Alabama should plan on coming to this initial IAF event. You may listen live to the 1330amWEBY interview. An article based on the interview will appear in the July edition of the New English Review.