Although a new bill in the Massachusetts State House didn’t mention the BDS movement, its sponsors left no doubts about its intentions. “This is a proud moment where the legislature can stand together in support of Israel” said State Representatives Steve Howitt after introducing it, “This bill clarifies to businesses that either support BDS or who boycott Israeli-owned businesses and products that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will not engage in commerce with them. I look forward to its quick passage.”
Two years ago 100 Massachusetts faith and civil rights organizations formed a coalition called Freedom to Boycott to oppose a House bill targeting BDS supporters. The bill was ultimately shelved, consigned to “study,” but the same exact bill is back again.
Andrew Gillum, the progressive star who is running to be Florida governor, supports McCarthyite legislation to restrict BDS. Ayanna Pressley, a MA progressive running for congress, also disappoints. But there’s good news too: the New York Times and NPR have both run stories with positive references to the movement for equal rights.