By AJC, Special for USDR
U.S. governors across the country are joining an AJC initiative to affirm their rejection of the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement against Israel. Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R), New York GovernorAndrew Cuomo (D), and Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy (D), the first to sign the Governors United Against BDS statement, are leading the effort.
“Governors across our country know very well the enormous value of the U.S.-Israel partnership in every sphere imaginable, and, no less, the pernicious goals of the BDS movement,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “We are delighted and grateful that Governors Abbott, Cuomo, and Malloy have agreed to lead this critically important, bipartisan effort that at its midway point has already gained the support of a majority of U.S. governors.”
Other governors who have joined the Governors United statement to date include Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas; Douglas A. Ducey,Arizona; Jack Markell, Delaware; Rick Scott, Florida; Nathan Deal, Georgia; Bruce Rauner, Illinois; Mike Pence, Indiana; Terry Branstad, Iowa; Sam Brownback, Kansas; Matt Bevin, Kentucky; Paul LePage, Maine; Larry Hogan, Maryland; Charles Baker,Massachusetts; Mark Dayton, Minnesota; Pete Ricketts, Nebraska; Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire; Chris Christie, New Jersey;Brian Sandoval, Nevada; Pat McCrory, North Carolina;John Kasich, Ohio; Mary Fallin, Oklahoma; Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania; Gary R. Herbert, Utah; and Scott Walker, Wisconsin. In addition,Muriel Bowser, mayor of the District of Columbia, is on board.
The Governors United statement declares that “at this critical time, in the face of the virulent movement to promote anti-Israel boycotts both in this country and around the globe, we strongly condemn the BDS movement as incompatible with the values of our states and our country. Likewise, we reaffirm our support for Israel as a vital U.S. ally, important economic partner, and champion of freedom.”
Israel is a “pluralistic nation with deep cultural, familial, security, educational, scientific and commercial bonds with our states and withthe United States as a whole,” asserts the statement.
The governors reaffirm their commitment to “the principle of two states for two peoples, existing side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition, and achieved through direct, bilateral negotiations.” And they emphasize that the BDS movement “undermines peacemaking by suggesting that economic and political pressure on Israel can replace real negotiation.”
“As governor, I will work to ensure that the BDS movement does not gain a foothold in Texas,” said Abbott. “The BDS movement and its proponents actively engage in attempts to delegitimize Israel, our closest and most important democratic ally in the Middle East. The Lone Star State has and always will stand with the Jewish state.”
“New York stands in solidarity with Israel today and always,” Cuomo said. “Our state will not stand for the politics of discrimination in any form, and we will continue to demonstrate our unwavering support for the people of Israel in the fight for freedom, liberty and democracy.”
SOURCE American Jewish Committee