Alabama Passes Strong Unanimous Joint Resolution Denouncing BDS Movement
and Affirming Support for Israel
February 12, 2016 (Montgomery, AL) - In 1943, in the midst of World War II, when the axis powers were not only waging world war against America and Europe, but also seeking the mass murder and systematic extermination of the Jewish people, Alabama led the nation in an official call for the establishment of the Jewish state and homeland in Act 144, SJR 4, 1943 Regular Session, a unanimous joint resolution signed by the Governor June 10, 1943.
Carrying on that legacy, the Alabama legislature passed a unanimous joint resolution (Act 2, SJR 6, 2016 Regular Session) denouncing the BDS Movement and affirming support for the state of Israel sending a strong and clear message. Alabama State Senator Arthur Orr from Decatur sponsored the joint resolution and said, “The BDS movement has targeted the Jewish state for economic and political sanctions and with a dramatic increase of BDS activity now also reaching U.S. college campuses, our position must be clear. Alabama sends a strong message with SJR 6 denouncing the BDS Movement and affirming we stand with our closest ally in the Middle East.” Alabama House Speaker Pro Tem, Rep Victor Gaston of Mobile stated, “I am proud to have had a role in the House Rules Committee assisting with the now unanimous passing of this important Resolution. The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement has no place in the State of Alabama as it harms the United States’ greatest ally and friend to Alabama, Israel.”
Reference Resolution Text Below or Here (PDF)(HTML)
Act 2, SJR 6, 2016 Regular Session - Resolution Text
DENOUNCING THE BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, AND SANCTIONS (BDS) MOVEMENT.
WHEREAS, The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement is a global campaign that calls for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel; and
WHEREAS, Alabama and Israel share a commitment to deeply-held common values from the history of each shaped greatly through the influence of Biblical faith, in addition to many nationally shared values as the only democratic ally of the United States in the Middle East; and
WHEREAS, Alabama recognizes and support Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State; and
WHEREAS, in the midst of World War II, when the axis powers were not only waging world war against America and Europe, but also seeking the mass murder and systematic extermination of the Jewish people, Alabama led the nation in an official call for the establishment of the Jewish state and homeland in Act 144 (SJR4), 1943 Regular Session, a unanimous joint resolution signed by the Governor on June 10, 1943; and
WHEREAS, the resurgence of global anti-Semitism is currently at its highest point since the end of World War II; and
WHEREAS, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric is growing louder and bolder with increasing international hostility toward Israel and the Jewish people, including international leaders publicly calling the Holocaust a myth, stating their intent to wipe Israel off the map and denying any historical Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, Jerusalem, or the Holy Land; and
WHEREAS, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement seeks to further isolate and delegitimize Israel and Jewish people worldwide in an effort to cripple Israel through economic, cultural, and political pressure; and
WHEREAS, many founders and leaders of the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement deny Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and even advocate for the elimination of the Jewish state; and
WHEREAS, verbal attacks against the Jewish people and the demonizing of Israel and supporters of Israel foster intimidation and promotes violence, not only globally, but also in the State of Alabama; and
WHEREAS, the State of Alabama is concerned by anti-Israel activities in this state and other communities nationwide within certain university campuses, academic and professional associations, and the cultural sector; and
WHEREAS, attempts to delegitimize Israel's existence through an international campaign of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) is increasingly promoted on U.S. college and university campuses; and
WHEREAS, the dramatic increase in Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement activities on college campuses around the country has resulted in increased animosity, intimidation, and violence on university campuses; and
WHEREAS, calls for academic boycotts against Israeli academic institutions have been condemned by many of our nation's largest academic associations, over 250 university presidents, and leading scholars as a violation of the bedrock principle of academic freedom; and
WHEREAS, Alabama's elected representatives who defend the inalienable right to free speech understand that the goals and activities of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement in this state are harmful to the State's relationships with Alabama's Jewish citizens, our friend and ally Israel and have a deleterious impact on the academic and educational environment; now therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA, BOTH HOUSES THEREOF CONCURRING, That we unequivocally denounce and reject the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement and any furtherance of this movement in this state.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Legislature of the State of Alabama rejects any activities that contribute directly or indirectly to the delegitimization of the sovereignty of Israel as a Jewish State including, but not limited to, promotion of economic, cultural, and academic boycotts against Israel.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Legislature of the State of Alabama considers the international BDS Movement and its agenda inherently antithetical and deeply damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all peoples in the Middle East.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Legislature of the State of Alabama reaffirms its support for the State of Israel as a Jewish State, recognizes that the Jewish people are indigenous to the land of Israel, condemns all attacks on the people of Israel, supports Israel's right to engage in lawful acts of self-defense, opposes all attempts to economically and politically isolate Israel within the international arena, and opposes efforts to assault the legitimacy of Israel as the sovereign homeland of the Jewish people.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That it is directed that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the President of the United States, to the Alabama Delegation to the United States Congress, to the Governors of all the United States of America, and to the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., for transmission to all the proper authorities in the State of Israel.