Alabama-Israel Task Force (AITF) - The History


Alabama-Israel:
The History

Alabama-Israel:
The Relationship

Alabama-Israel:
The Task Force

Alabama-Israel:
A Relational Bridge

Alabama-Israel:
EPDR

Alabama-Israel: A Long History

The History

The state of Alabama has a long history of strong support for the state of Israel. In 1943, Alabama led the nation as the first state in America to officially call for the establishment of the Jewish state and homeland. The unanimous joint resolution passed both state houses five years before Israel was reborn as a nation, urging both the United States and the United Nations to action. This call came 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 Jews of Europe.

In the 70 years since that initial resolution, the state of Alabama has repeatedly sought to stand with Israel in times of aggression including official and public response - a unanimous joint resolution in 2002 urging support for the state of Israel after terror attacks, a proclamation from the governor in 2006 to stand with Israel, statements of support from Alabama state and congressional leaders in 2012, among other. In addition, state-to-state cooperation including sister cities, a cooperative trade agreement (1997), and a special 33rd anniversary celebration of the rebirth of the state of Israel hosted at the Alabama Governor's mansion in 1981 are but a glimpse of a deep commitment shared among the people of Alabama for the state of Israel and her people.

The Testimony - A Legacy of Honor

• 1943 Alabama Unanimous Joint Resolution (Act 144, SJR 4, 1943 Regular Session)
Calling for the Establishment of the Jewish State and Homeland
• 1981 Israel 33rd Anniversary Celebration at Alabama Governor's Mansion
• 1997 State-to-State Cooperative Trade Agreement
• 2002 Alabama Unanimous Joint Resolution (Act 258, SJR 85, 2002 Regular Session)
Urging National Support for the State of Israel and Expressing the Support of the State of Alabama
• 2006 Alabama Joint Resolution (Act 651, HJR 747, 2006 Regular Session)
Reaffirming Alabama's Commitment to Support and Defend Israel
• 2006 Alabama Governor's Proclamation
Declaring "Stand with Israel Day" in Alabama
• 2012 Alabama Governmental Leaders Issue Statements
Supporting the State of Israel
• 2012 Alabama Joint Resolution (HJR 56, 2012 Regular Session)
Commending the Nation of Israel for its Relations with the United States and with the State of Alabama
• 2013 Governor's Proclamation
Supporting the State of Israel
• 2013 The People's Resolution of Reaffirmation
Declaration of Reaffirmation of the Historic 1943 Resolution and Renewed Commitment in Our Generation
• 2014 Historic "Alabama Celebrates Israel" Statewide Gathering
Statewide Celebration Honoring 70 Years of Unwavering Support, Expressing Continued Friendship, and Launching of a New Alabama-Israel Initiative
• 2015 Governor's Proclamation
Supporting the State of Israel during Israeli Ambassador's visit to Alabama
• 2016 Alabama Unanimous Joint Resolution (Act 2, SJR 6, 2016 Regular Session)
Denouncing the BDS Movement and Affirming Support for Israel
• 2016 Deputy Speaker Israeli Knesset Addresses Special Joint Session of Alabama Legislature
Deputy Speaker of Israelís National Parliament and highest ranking leader from Israel to ever visit the state of Alabama
• 2016 Alabama-Israel Leadership Gala
Honoring Leadership, Celebrating Friendship, Cultivating State-to-State Relationship
• 2016 Alabama Signs into Law Strong Anti-BDS Legislation (Act 312, SB81, 2016 Regular Session)
Bringing Deterrence and Consequence to the BDS Movement and those who Boycott Israel

1943 - Unanimous Joint Resolution (Act 144, SJR 4, 1943 Regular Session)
Calling for the Establishment of the Jewish State and Homeland
Reference: Image - ACT144-SJR4-1943RS (JPG)

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring, that:

WHEREAS, The policy of the Axis powers to exterminate the Jews of Europe through mass murder cries out for action by the United Nations representing the civilized world and emphasizes the urgent need for a Jewish homeland and

WHEREAS, On November 2, 1917 the British Government issued the Balfour Declaration viewing with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish People and offering to facilitate such an endeavor and

WHEREAS, On June 30, 1922 a resolution was adopted by a joint session of the Congress of the United States which approved the Balfour Declaration and it was included in the Anglo-American treaty of December 3, 1924,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Alabama that the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine and facilities for its further development for receiving the maximum number of Jewish refugees who have been uprooted from their homes be commended to the considered judgment of the United Nations, not only as an act of justice to the Jewish people and the righting of an ancient wrong, but as an integral part of the new democratic world order in which every people shall have the right to self-government and self-determination in accordance with the principles for which we are now waging war and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the President of the United States, to Senators Wagner and McNary, Co-Chairmen of the American Palestine Committee, and to the British Embassy in Washington for transmission to the proper authorities in London.

Approved June 10, 1943.

1981 - Israel 33rd Anniversary Celebration at Alabama Governor's Mansion
Governor Fob James hosted special 33rd anniversary celebration of rebirth of the state of Israel at the Alabama Governor's Mansion

1997 - State-to-State Cooperative Trade Agreement
Reference: Document - AL-Trade-MOU (PDF), JVL Alabama (HTML)

MEMORANDUM OF INTENT BETWEEN THE STATE OF ALABAMA AND THE MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY AND TRADE OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL

WHEREAS the prospects for expanded economic cooperation between the two States are excellent and, as a result, their economic structures will mutually benefit;

WHEREAS the State of Alabama and the State of Israel each have important responsibilities for encouraging the growth of trade and investment relations within the framework of a free enterprise economy;

THEREFORE, IT IS AGREED between the State of Alabama through the Alabama Development Office and the State of Israel through the Ministry of Industry and Trade:

1. To improve trade relationships between companies in Alabama and those in Israel.
2. To encourage and facilitate cooperation between companies in each of the two States.
3. To encourage investments between Alabama and Israel for their mutual benefit.
4. To encourage and expand the transfer of technology between Alabama and Israel.
5. To promote the exchange of ideas between various businesses, trade associations, business agencies and commercial institutions within the two States.
6. To notify each other of trade fairs and exhibitions, investment seminars, and other business-related conferences to be held in Israel and Alabama.
7. To promote the exchange of visits of company representatives, engineers, scientists and other specialists.

This Memorandum of Intent shall enter into effect upon signature and shall remain in force for a period of three years or until such date as otherwise agreed upon.

Signed in the city of Jerusalem, this 22nd day of October 1997.

FOR THE STATE OF ALABAMA
Fob James, Governor

FOR THE MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY AND TRADE OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL
Jr. Natan Sharansky, Minister

2002 - Unanimous Joint Resolution (Act 258, SJR 85, 2002 Regular Session)
Urging National Support for the State of Israel and Expressing the Support of the State of Alabama
Reference: Document - ACT258-SJR85-2002RS (HTML)

URGING NATIONAL SUPPORT FOR THE STATE OF ISRAEL AND EXPRESSING THE SUPPORT OF THE STATE OF ALABAMA.

WHEREAS, in the midst of World War II in 1943, Alabama led the nation as the first, and possibly only, state in America to officially call for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine; and

WHEREAS, that official call was set forth in Act 144, SJR 4, 1943 Regular Session, a unanimous Joint Resolution of the Alabama State Senate and the Alabama House of Representatives, approved and signed by the Governor on June 10, 1943; and

WHEREAS, Alabama's 1943 Joint Resolution was passed more than five years prior to the official establishment of the modern State of Israel, at a time when Alabamians and all Americans were waging war against the Axis powers and their effort to exterminate the Jews of Europe through mass murder; and

WHEREAS, for more than five decades the State of Israel has been America's chief democratic ally in the Middle East, in an alliance based on shared values and shared interests; and

WHEREAS, in the wake of September 11, 2001, America and Alabama, like the State of Israel, have now experienced terrorist attacks on our innocent civilians as a result of suicide missions and other forms of terrorism; and

WHEREAS, Alabamians, along with all Americans, grieve the senseless loss of innocent lives due to such reckless acts of terror and evil throughout our world; and

WHEREAS, Alabama leads the nation with the number of her native sons and daughters serving in combat at this time; and

WHEREAS, as Alabama led the nation at a critical time in 1943 by expressing her unequivocal support for the creation of the State of Israel, Alabama again desires to lead the nation by expressing her unequivocal support for the State of Israel at this critical time; now therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA, BOTH HOUSES THEREOF CONCURRING, That we hereby express support for Israel, and for all people suffering at the hands of terrorism, and urge President George W. Bush and the Governors of all the United States of America to remain steadfast in support of the State of Israel and for all who battle senseless acts of evil and all forms of terrorism at this critical time, not only as a continuing act of justice, but also as a continuing and integral statement of the principles for which we as Americans, and Alabamians, are now actively waging war.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, 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.

2006 - Alabama Joint Resolution (Act 651, HJR 747, 2006 Regular Session)
Reaffirming Alabama's Commitment to Support and Defend Israel

Reference: Document - ACT651-HJR747-2006RS (HTML)

REAFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO SUPPORT AND DEFEND ISRAEL.

WHEREAS, Israel has had a long standing alliance with the United States for the past 50 years and is the only democratic country in the volatile Middle East; and

WHEREAS, over the long course of our association, Israel has proven itself to be the best ally of the United States in the Middle East; and

WHEREAS, since the establishment of the Jewish Homeland following World War II, Israel has suffered at the hands of terrorists and extremists of hostile Arab States; and

WHEREAS, a continued pledge of support for Israel is in the mutual best interests for both countries and Israel's stable presence in the region offers the United States its best chance for continuing its efforts for peace in the area; and

WHEREAS, the shared values of the United States and Israel require that we stand with Israel, just as Israel has stood with the United States since post World War II, through the uncertainties of the cold war period, and continuing today; now therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA, BOTH HOUSES THEREOF CONCURRING, That we hereby reaffirm our commitment to support and defend Israel as a faithful ally of the United States.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be available to the members of the Alabama Congressional Delegation as an indication of our sentiments on this vital issue.

2006 - Alabama Governor's Proclamation Declaring "Stand with Israel Day" in Alabama
Reference: DSJV (08/13/06)

Alabama Governor Bob Riley proclaimed Aug. 14, 2006 to be "Stand With Israel Day" in Alabama. That night at 7pm, there was a rally at the Wright Center at Samford University, co-sponsored by the Birmingham Jewish Federation, International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, and State of Israel Bonds.


WHEREAS, the Jewish people have been subject to acts of terror throughout their long history, including the Holocaust of the Nazi terror regime; and

WHEREAS, in 1943, in the midst of World War II, at a time of war against the Axis powers and their effort to exterminate the Jews of Europe through mass murder, Alabama led the nation as the first state in America to officially call for the establishment of a Jewish homeland; and

WHEREAS, that official call was in a unanimous Joint Resolution, Act 144, SJ 4, 1943 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature approved and signed by the Governor of Alabama on June 10, 1943; and

WHEREAS, for more than five decades the State of Israel has been America's chief democratic ally in the Middle East, in an alliance based on shared values and shared interests; and

WHEREAS, in the wake of September 11, 2001, the Alabama Legislature unanimously passed a second Joint Resolution, Act 258, SJR 85, 2002 Regular Session urging national support for the State of Israel and expressing Alabama's unequivocal support for the State of Israel against the senseless acts of terror; and

WHEREAS, the State of Israel and its people remain the target of terrorist activities; and

WHEREAS, Hezbollah and Hamas terror organizations have recently launched attacks on sovereign Israeli land, killing and wounding Israeli soldiers and innocent citizens; and

WHEREAS, the State of Alabama hereby proclaims her support of the State of Israel in its need to maintain its existence as a country and a democracy, standing with Israel as a state, as a nation, and as a people against terrorism and tyranny and for the cause of freedom and democracy in the Middle East and around the world:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Bob Riley, Governor of Alabama, do hereby proclaim August 14, 2006, as "Stand With Israel Day" in the State of Alabama.

Given Under My Hand and the Great Seal of the Office of the Governor at the State Capitol in the City of Montgomery on the 11th day of August 2006.

Governor Bob Riley

2012 - Alabama Governmental Leaders Issue Statements Supporting the State of Israel
Reference: BJF Update (11/17/12)

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley privately and publicly affirmed his support and admiration for Israel, issued a statement supporting Israel's actions. "Alabama stands with Israel and recognizes Israel's right to defend herself against these attacks," said the Governor. "A few days ago, I met personally with the Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister and the Consul General. I shared with them my strong support for Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state in its ancient homeland. I gave my support to the Israeli people and recognized their right to live in peace and security," he added. "Alabama has a long history of supporting Israel. In 1943, five years before Israel became a nation, Alabama passed a resolution unanimously supporting the establishment of a Jewish state," he noted. "Our support remains strong today, and I am proud to stand with Israel."

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, of Alabama's Fourth District, which includes Jasper and Anniston, also issued a statement. "No country should have to face the unjustified attacks Israel has faced without having the absolute right to defend itself and protect its people," he said. "I remain a staunch supporter of the United States' partnership with Israel and I believe we should stand with Israel and against the terrorists of Hamas and other radical groups," Congressman Aderholt added. "I hope and pray that this senseless violence ends immediately and that peace can be reached."

US Rep. Mo Brooks, of Alabama's Fifth District, which includes Huntsville, posted a statement. "I stand with our close ally Israel, and with her people during this violent and horrific attack on innocent civilians," he wrote, referring to the Palestinian rocket attacks on civilians in southern Israel.

2012 - Alabama Joint Resolution (HJR 56, 2012 Regular Session)
Commending the Nation of Israel for its Relations with the United States and with the State of Alabama
Reference: Document - AL-HJR56-2012RS (PDF), Image - AL-HJR56-2012RS (JPG)

COMMENDING THE NATION OF ISRAEL FOR ITS RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND WITH THE STATE OF ALABAMA.

WHEREAS, Israel has been granted her lands under and through the oldest recorded deed as reported in the Old Testament, a tome of scripture held sacred and reverenced by Jew and Christian alike, as the acts and words of God; and

WHEREAS, as the Grantor of said lands, God stated to the Jewish people in the Old Testament in Leviticus, Chapter 20, Verse 24: "Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey"; and

WHEREAS, God has never rescinded his grant of said lands; and

WHEREAS, along with the grant of said lands to the Jewish people, God provided for the non-Jewish residents of the land in commanding that governance must be in one law for all without drawing distinction between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens, as contained in Leviticus 24:22; and

WHEREAS, the Nation of Israel declared its independent control and governance of said lands on May 14, 1948, with the goal of reestablishing its God-given lands as a homeland for the Jewish people; and

WHEREAS, the United States of America, having been the first country to recognize Israel as an independent nation and as Israel's principal ally, has enjoyed a close and mutually beneficial relationship with Israel and her people; and

WHEREAS, indeed, Israel is the United States of America's greatest friend in the Mideast; and

WHEREAS, the roots of Israel and the roots of the United States are so intertwined that it is difficult to separate one from the other under the word and protection of almighty God; and

WHEREAS, there are those in the Middle East who have sought to destroy Israel from its inception as a nation; and

WHEREAS, those same haters of Israel also hate and seek to destroy the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, the State of Alabama and the nation of Israel have enjoyed cordial and mutually beneficial relations since 1948, a friendship that continues to strengthen with each passing year; now therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA, BOTH HOUSES THEREOF CONCURRING, That by this resolution, we commend the nation of Israel for its relations with the United States of America and with the State of Alabama.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the members of this body support Israel in its natural and God-given right of self-governance and self-defense upon its own lands, recognizing that Israel is neither an attacking force nor an occupier of the lands of others, and that peace can be afforded the region only through a united Israel governed under one law for all people.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Speaker of the House of Representatives of each of Alabama's sister states within the United States of America with the request and recommendation of this body that a similar resolution to that stated herein be proposed within their respective bodies.

2013 - Governor's Proclamation Supporting the State of Israel
Reference: Document (04/16/13) - AL-Gov-Proc-20130416 (PDF), governor.alabama.gov (HTML)

State of Israel

WHEREAS, the State of Alabama recognizes the sovereign State of Israel and its right to defend itself against attacks, and that presidential administrations have continuously reaffirmed the United States' strong support for Israel; and

WHEREAS, the State of Alabama supports Israel in its battle against terrorism, in which the Jewish people have been subject to acts of terror throughout their long history, including the Holocaust of the Nazi terror regime; in 1943, in the midst of World War II, at a time of war against the Axis powers and their effort to exterminate the Jews of Europe through mass murder, Alabama led the nation as the first state in America to officially call for the establishment of a Jewish homeland; and

WHEREAS, that official call was set forth in a unanimous Joint Resolution, Act 144, SJ 4, 1943 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature approved and signed by the Governor of Alabama on June 10, 1943; Alabama's 1943 Joint Resolution was passed more than five years prior to the official establishment of the modern State of Israel; and

WHEREAS, for more than six decades, the State of Israel has been America's chief democratic ally in the Middle East in an alliance based on shared values and shared interests; and

WHEREAS, in the wake of September 11, 2001, the Alabama Legislature unanimously passed a second Joint Resolution, Act 258, SJR 85, 2002 Regular Session urging national support for the State of Israel and expressing Alabama's unequivocal support for the State of Israel against the senseless acts of terror; and

WHEREAS, the Governor of Alabama proclaimed August 14, 2006, as Stand with Israel Day in the State of Alabama to proclaim the State of Alabama's support of the State of Israel in its need to maintain its existence as a country and a democracy, standing with Israel as a state, as a nation, and as a people against terrorism and tyranny and for the cause of freedom and democracy in the Middle East; and

WHEREAS, in April of 2006, the Alabama Legislature passed a Joint Resolution, Act 651, HJR 747 2006 Regular Sessions reaffirming the state's commitment to support and defend Israel as a faithful ally of the United States; today, the State of Israel and its people remain the target of terrorist activities; and

WHEREAS, as Alabama led the nation at a critical time in 1943 by expressing her unequivocal support for the creation of the State of Israel and hereby proclaims its enduring support for the State of Israel and its people as they stand against terrorism and tyranny and as they stand for the cause of freedom and democracy in the Middle East and around the world:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert Bentley, Governor of Alabama, do hereby express steadfast support for the State of Israel and convey vigorous support for the welfare, security and the continued existence of this democratic state with secure borders

Given Under My Hand and the Great Seal of the Office of the Governor at the State Capitol in the City of Montgomery on the 16th day of April 2013.

Robert Bentley, Governor

2013 - The People's Resolution of Reaffirmation (Launched December 14th, Anniversary of Alabama Statehood)
Declaration of Reaffirmation of the Historic 1943 Resolution and Renewed Commitment in Our Generation
Reference: Declaration (HTML)

WHEREAS, in 1943, in the midst of World War II, Alabama led the nation as the first, and possibly only, state in America to officially call for the establishment of the Jewish state and homeland, and

WHEREAS, in the seven decades since that first resolution, Alabama has a long history of strong support for Israel, and a unique and special state-to-state relationship has continued to grow, 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 U.S. in the Middle East, and

AFFIRMING, that it is with goodwill for all mankind, including all inhabitants of the Holy Land, and desiring true peace for the entire region;

WE, THE UNDERSIGNED,

Do reaffirm the historic 1943 Joint Resolution from Alabama supporting the establishment of the Jewish homeland in Israel, and

Do celebrate the seven decades of unwavering support, and the special history of the unique state-to-state relationship that has developed between Alabama and Israel through those years, and

Do commit to the continued friendship, brotherhood, and strengthening of that relationship in our generation …

For the good of Alabama, Israel, the United States, and the family of nations.

Sign Your Name to the Declaration of Reaffirmation!

2014 - Historic "Alabama Celebrates Israel" Statewide Gathering
Statewide Celebration Honoring 70 Years of Unwavering Support, Expressing Continued Friendship, and Launching of a New Alabama-Israel Initiative
Reference: Record - Overview (03/25/16)

Honoring 70 years of unwavering support since the historic 1943 Joint Resolution from Alabama calling for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Israel. Seven decades ago, in the midst of World War II, Alabama led the nation in a formal call for the establishment of the Jewish state and homeland. The unanimous joint resolution passed both state houses five years before Israel was reborn as a nation. This special state-wide celebration commemorates this historic moment, while expressing our continued friendship with the state of Israel, and launching a new Alabama-Israel initiative - establishing an Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response Center in Israel.

2015 - Governor's Proclamation Supporting the State of Israel during Israeli Ambassador's visit to Alabama
Reference: Document (04/01/15) - AL-Gov-Proc-20150401 (PDF), governor.alabama.gov (HTML)

State of Israel

WHEREAS, the state of Alabama recognizes the sovereign State of Israel and its right to defend itself against attacks, and that presidential administrations have continuously reaffirmed the United States’ strong support for Israel; and

WHEREAS, the state of Alabama supports Israel in its battle against terrorism, in which the Jewish people have been subject to acts of terror throughout their long history, including the Holocaust of the Nazi terror regime. In 1943, in the midst of World War II, at a time of war against the Axis powers and their effort to exterminate the Jews of Europe through mass murder, Alabama prophetically led the nation as the first state in America to officially call for the establishment of a Jewish homeland; and

WHEREAS, that official call was set forth in a unanimous Joint Resolution, Act 144, SJR 4, 1943 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature approved and signed by the Governor of Alabama on June 10, 1943. Alabama’s 1943 Joint Resolution was passed more than five years prior to the official establishment of the modern State of Israel; and

WHEREAS, in the wake of September 11, 2001, the Alabama Legislature unanimously passed a second Joint Resolution, Act 258, SJR 85, 2002 Regular Session urging national support for the State of Israel and expressing Alabama’s unequivocal support for the State of Israel against the senseless acts of terror; and

WHEREAS, the Governor of Alabama proclaimed August 14, 2006, as Stand with Israel Day in the State of Alabama to proclaim the State of Alabama’s support of the State of Israel in its need to maintain its existence as a country and a democracy, standing with Israel as a state, as a nation, and as a people against terrorism and tyranny and for the cause of freedom and democracy in the Middle East; and

WHEREAS, in April of 2006, the Alabama Legislature passed a Joint Resolution, Act 651, HJR 747 2006 regular Session reaffirming the state’s commitment to support and defend Israel as a faithful ally of the United States. Today, the State of Israel and its people remain the target of terrorist activities; and

WHEREAS, the State of Israel and its people remain the target of terrorist organizations, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and the existential threat posed by Iran, a State sponsor of terrorism pursuing the development of a nuclear bomb while stating publically death to America and to Israel; and

WHEREAS, for more than seven decades, the State of Alabama has stood in a covenant bond with the State of Israel , America’s chief democratic ally in the Middle East in an alliance based on shared values and shared interests; and

WHEREAS, on April 28 and April 29, 2015, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States of America, Ron Dermer, will address the citizens of Alabama regarding the State of Israel, the Middle East, and present terrorist threats to Israel and all freedom loving nations and people throughout the world; and

WHEREAS, as Alabama led the nation at a critical time in 1943 by expressing her unequivocal support for the creation of the State of Israel and hereby proclaims its enduring support for the State of Israel and its people as they stand against terrorism and tyranny and as they stand for the cause of freedom and democracy in the Middle East and around the world; and

WHEREAS, the State of Alabama hereby proclaims her support of the State of Israel in the face of such threats, and urges President Barak Obama and the Governors of all the Unites States of America to remain steadfast in support of the State of Israel at this critical time; and

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert Bentley, Governor of Alabama, do hereby express the steadfast support for the State of Israel and convey vigorous support for the welfare, security and the continued existence of this democratic nation.

2016 - Unanimous Joint Resolution (Act 2, SJR 6, 2016 Regular Session)
Denouncing the BDS Movement and Affirming Support for Israel
Reference: Document - ACT2-SJR6-2016RS (PDF), Image - ACT2-SJR6-2016RS (JPG)

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.

2016 - Deputy Speaker Israeli Knesset Addresses Special Joint Session of Alabama Legislature
Deputy Speaker of Israelís National Parliament and highest ranking leader from Israel to ever visit the state of Alabama

Reference: Record - Joint Session (04/07/16)

The Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset visiting Alabama provided an unprecedented opportunity, not only as Deputy Speaker of Israel's National Parliament (Israel's Legislative Body) but also the highest ranking leader from Israel to ever visit the state of Alabama. The Lt. Governor/President of the Senate and House Speaker reached out extending a formal invitation to address a Special Joint Session of the Alabama Legislature - the legislative body from which came the historic 1943 Resolution that led the nation in the call for the establishment of the Jewish state and homeland.

2016 - Alabama-Israel Leadership Gala
Honoring Leadership, Celebrating Friendship, Cultivating State-to-State Relationship

Reference: Record - Gala (04/09/16)

Special guests included the Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset Hilik Bar from Jerusalem, the Founder of the Israel Leadership Institute (ILI) Eeki Elner from Sderot-Israel, with special commemoration honoring Israeli Consul General to the Southeast Ambassador Judith Shorer, and Israel Leadership Award recipients Dr. Richard Brooks, Pastor David Nelson, Senator Arthur Orr, and Representative and Speaker Pro Tem Victor Gaston.

2016 - Alabama Signs into Law Strong Anti-BDS Legislation (Act 312, SB81, 2016 Regular Session)
Bringing Deterrence and Consequence to the BDS Movement and those who Boycott Israel
Reference: Document - ACT312-SB81-2016RS (PDF)

Building on the strong foundation of SJR6, the Alabama Legislature passed binding legislation (SB81) that would also provide deterrence and consequence for those embracing the BDS movement and seeking to isolate and delegitimize our closet ally in the Middle East. While the bill does not mention Israel by name, it would prohibit state and local governments from executing public contracts with entities that boycott jurisdiction with which we have open trade (e.g. Israel). It would ensure if you boycott our friend and ally Israel, the state of Alabama will not do business with you. The legislation passed unanimously in the Alabama Senate, and overwhelmingly (84-5) in the Alabama House, sending a deeply meaningful message and making Alabama’s position clear. The bill is one of the strongest in the nation, avoiding common loopholes and including municipalities (so local city, county, and state contracts).

It is also worth noting the significant timing as SB81 passed the Alabama Legislature during the biblical week of Passover, so at a very special time indeed. In addition, it was the very week that marked the anniversary of the passage of the San Remo Resolution (some refer to as Israel’s Magna Carta). That resolution enshrined into international law the Balfour Declaration - which established national rights for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel. The decision at San Remo was adopted by the victorious powers after World War I, later ratified by the United Nations, and remains valid to this day. After further review by the Governor’s office, he signed SB81 into law (Act 312, SB81, 2016 Regular Session) late afternoon on the very eve of the two-day memorial and celebration of Israel's Remembrance Day and Israel's Independence Day (Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut).

Alabama-Israel Task Force (AITF)