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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Leader of self-proclaimed 'most pro-Israel administration evah' backs BDS (in Judea and Samaria)

President Hussein Obama signed into law today a bill that includes extensive provisions targeting the boycott, divest, sanction (BDS) movement that seeks to destroy trade with Israel. However, in a signing statement (of the type to which he objected during the Bush administration and vowed that his administration would never issue), Obama objected to language that referred to 'Israeli controlled territory' and announced that his administration would not enforce the law against companies and countries that boycott the 'settlements.'
“I have directed my administration to strongly oppose boycotts, divestment campaigns, and sanctions targeting the State of Israel,” Obama said in a signing statement. “As long as I am president, we will continue to do so. Certain provisions of this act, by conflating Israel and ‘Israeli-controlled territories,’ are contrary to longstanding bipartisan United States policy, including with regard to the treatment of settlements.”
Obama further said in the statement that “consistent with longstanding constitutional practice” the administration would negotiate with other countries under the law “in a manner that does not interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct diplomacy,” language used in signing statements to signal that a president will not apply a part of a law that does not comport with US foreign policy.
The BDS portion of the law, backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, was authored by Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill. and Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif.
There are multiple bills under consideration in Congress and in over 20 state legislatures targeting BDS. Many of the state bills mandate the divestment of state funds, including pensions, from entities that boycott Israel and a number of those bills extend protection to the settlements. Illinois and South Carolina have passed into law in recent months anti-BDS bills that include protection for settlements.
The Florida legislature this week passed a law that includes settlement protections, and it awaits signing by Governor Rick Scott. A similar bill was introduced this week in the Ohio legislature.
'Most pro-Israel administration evah'? Hardly. 

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