Days of Palestine, Washington -American President Barack Obama singed last week a bill that punishes BDS campaign against the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, aimed at removing unfair barriers to competitive US trade, was passed by the US House of Representatives in December and by the Senate on 11 February. Obama signed the bill into law on Wednesday.
A lengthy section of the law on promoting US Israeli trade requires non-cooperation with entities that participate in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against the Israeli occupation, and reporting on such entities.
“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.”
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 the Israeli occupation 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.
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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.