How New York Can Play a Key Role in Stopping BDS

May 12, 2016 | Benjamin Weinthal and Asaf Romirowsky
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In January, the New York State Senate passed a bill—now being considered by the state Assembly—which would prohibit New York from doing business with corporations that support the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS). Benjamin Weinthal and Asaf Romirowsky explain the bill’s importance:

Nearly half of U.S. states have passed anti-BDS resolutions or laws. New York’s law will be crucial because scores of major European companies and banks are based in the Empire State. The mere threat of legislation penalizing European banks has prompted one major bank to shut down an Austrian BDS group’s account: the Vienna-based financial-services provider Erste Group closed the account held by BDS Austria.

After the Jerusalem Post exposed a BDS account held by the DAB Bank in Munich—a subsidiary of the French banking giant BNP Paribas—the account of BDS Campaign in Germany was [also] closed.

Both BNP Paribas and Erste Group have branch offices in New York City. German, Austrian, and French banks maintaining BDS accounts are now likely to face greater scrutiny by New York State legislators. . . .

European companies and financial institutions will need to make hard decisions. Do they want to continue to stoke anti-Semitism via BDS and hurt Israel’s economy while facing financial damage to their businesses in the United States? It should be a no-brainer.

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