Should Congress and state legislatures take action against a global movement to boycott Israel?

Updated: Wednesday, June 17 2015, 06:11 PM CDT

A Palestinian effort to cripple Israel’s economy is gaining traction across some parts of Europe and college campuses in America. The movement called Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, or BDS is challenging Israel’s discriminatory practices and defiance of international law.

Josh Ruebner is a policy expert with the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. “It’s not about boycotting Jewish people; it’s about boycotting corporations that are complicit with Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people.”

But now there’s a growing movement to counter what Jewish leaders say is an orchestrated campaign of lies rolled in anti-Semitism. “One of the three goals, they put it in very nice languages is the right of return, essentially the elimination of the Jewish state,” said Shany Mor with the Israel Project.

Some state and Congressional lawmakers agree and they are now proposing — or in South Carolina’s case adopting — anti-BDS laws aimed at preventing governments from doing business with companies that align with BDS. Calling it economic warfare that some compare to what Nazi Germany did to the Jews.

“I find it completely odious that Israel would compare this to Nazi Germany. The fact is this is a non-violent Palestinian civil society movement to attain their long denied rights,” said Ruebner.

The Rand Corporation found the longer the BDS movement lasts, the more damage it will do to the economies of Israel and Palestine.  Rand found that through 2024, Israel will lose about $8.8 billion dollars in commerce and Palestine will take about a $2.5 billion dollar hit.

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