On January 26th, Indiana’s House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill banning state transactions with entities that boycott Israel. The bill asserts that the effort to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel is “antithetical and deeply damaging to the cause of peace, justice, equality, democracy and human rights for all people in the Middle East.”
Indiana is not the first state to pass a law of this nature, and it is a great step in the right direction. Within the bill, the businesses that it refers to include commercial enterprises and non-profit organizations. Ultimately what this means is that once the law is officially passed, it would apply to all universities throughout the state of Indiana. As is common knowledge, the BDS movement focuses most of its efforts on campuses, targeting university students and other impressionable young adults.
Many CAMERA on Campus fellows and interns have felt the direct effects of the BDS movement and the violence that ensues. The efforts of Indiana government officials to pass this bill are greatly appreciated by students who feel threatened by BDS supporters.
If the state Senate approves the bill, Governor Mike Pence (R), who is known for his pro-Israel stance while in Congress, is expected to sign it as well. The ongoing fight against boycotters of Israel is often gruelling. As students on campus, witnessing the passing of major pieces of legislation in support of Israel (e.g., here and here), against division and hatred, makes our resolve and commitment to countering BDS stronger.
Thank you to each Indiana representatives! Your support is tremendously appreciated.
Contributed by Bar Ilan University CAMERA Intern Jasmine Esulin.