Democrats Introduce anti-BDS Resolution That Backs Two-state Solution

Effort seen as answer to Republican attempts to promote legislation that does not distinguish between Israel and settlements in the West Bank

Representative Jerry Nadler speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, February 8, 2019.
SAUL LOEB / AFP

WASHINGTON — Democratic lawmakers have reportedly proposed a resolution against the BDS movement that also includes support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Introduced by Reps. Jerry Nadler and Brad Schneider, the new resolution is backed by AIPAC, according to a report in the Washington Post, and is expected to receive broad support within the Democratic Party.

It remains to be seen if Republicans will also support the resolution, since there are powerful lobbying groups working on the Republican side against the two-state solution.

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The resolution denounces BDS as a movement intent on destroying Israel and also states that boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel harm the chances for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

It is seen as the Democratic answer to attempts by Republicans to use a broad consensus against BDS to promote legislation that fails to distinguish between Israel and West Bank settlements.

There is currently no scheduled date for a vote on the resolution.

In February, the Senate passed a bill encouraging state governments across the United States not to sign contracts with supporters of boycotts against Israel and its settlements in the occupied West Bank. Congressional sources from both parties told Haaretz they doubt the bill will pass the House of Representatives, where Democrats have a majority. Almost half of the Senate’s Democratic members voted against it over concerns it will harm free speech.

The bill encourages the implementation of local legislation passed in recent years by half of all American states, putting limits on state governments’ abilities to sign contracts with supporters of boycotts against Israel or the settlements. Two such laws have been frozen by federal courts in Arizona and Kansas, following lawsuits by state contractors who said the laws harmed their freedom of speech. Similar lawsuits have recently been filed in Texas and Arkansas.