The Jewish Insider is reporting that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will announce his support for a new resolution that targets the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement today.
S.Res.120 is a bipartisan piece of legislation that was introduced by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH). It currently has 61 co-sponsors, including Democratic presidential hopeful Cory Booker. The resolution denounces any efforts to boycott the state of Israel, “including efforts to target United States companies that are engaged in commercial activities” with the country. “I have long believed that the BDS effort is a profoundly biased campaign to delegitimize the state of Israel, and I look forward to Congress passing the resolution with overwhelming bipartisan support,” Schumer told Jewish Insider.
H.Res.246 is a companion piece of legislation that was introduced in the House. That resolution currently has 316 co-sponsors, including 162 Democrats.
Schumer’s support for the resolution is certainly not a surprise. He has been a vociferous supporter of Israel for years and co-sponsored 2017’s Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720), which was developed with the assistance of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). That bill would have made it a felony for some to support BDS, carrying a maximum penalty of $1 million and a twenty-year prison sentence. Although that bill died at the end of the 115th session of Congress, there have been numerous attempts to pass similar legislation in the Senate and the House since then, including a recent backdoor move by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) to punish BDS supporters by amending U.S. tax code.
The resolution should reach a vote later this year.