New Jersey’s Democratic candidate for governor, Phil Murphy, said on Friday that he disagrees with his running mate, Sheila Oliver, over her support for the boycotts campaign against Israel, an anti-Semitic fringe movement that calls for the elimination of the Jewish state.
The Associated Press reported that, at an unrelated event in Lawrenceville last week, Murphy said that he would have supported the legislation that incumbent Republican Gov. Christ Christie signed into law last year.
In June 2016, Sheila Oliver was one of just three legislators to vote against the bipartisan landmark anti-BDS law which prohibits the state’s public worker pension fund from investing in companies that engage in the boycott of Israel.
“It is important to the economic well-being of New Jersey that persons or entities conducting commercial trade and doing business in the State do not engage in boycotts of a legitimate and viable partner with whom New Jersey can enjoy open trade contracting,” the legislation read.
The anti-BDS law is part of a broader effort to oppose the boycotts movement. Similar measures have passed in 22 states and legislators who oppose them have been called out in the past.
In September of this year, State Senator Daniel Biss, announced that he had dropped his running mate, Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, in his bid for the Democratic nomination for Illinois governor, over Ramirez-Rosa’s support for the boycott campaign against Israel.
“Growing up with an Israeli mother, grandparents who survived the Holocaust, and great-grandparents who did not survive, issues related to the safety and security of the Jewish people are deeply personal to me,” Biss said in a statement.
The Israel Project’s CEO, Joshua Block, hailed Biss’ decision as “an important victory against hatred and intolerance.” Block added that the move sets “a standard for the rest of the country that, when you need to move left to win a primary, there is a red line on Israel that makes supporting BDS — on its own — disqualifying for candidates for state-wide office.”
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