Israel

New Orleans City Council Unanimously Rescinds Resolution Supporting Israel Boycott

The New Orleans City Council voted unanimously to rescind a resolution passed two weeks ago, which was backed by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

The earlier resolution, while not explicitly mentioning Israel, stated that the city had “social and ethical obligations to take steps to avoid contracting with or investing in corporations whose practices consistently violate human rights, civil rights or labor rights” and it “encourages the creation of a process” to end those contracts. It was backed by BDS activists, who are seeking to isolate Israel.

Civic groups supporting the rescinding of the original measure included the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, as well former City Council member Arnie Fielkow and other well-known representatives of the New Orleans Jewish community.

Rabbi Edward Cohn characterized the resolution “cleverly masqueraded as a high-minded civic statement designed to address and prevent human rights abuses.”

While one of the supporters of the resolution accused the “Zionist lobby” of unfairly labeling the BDS campaign as anti-Semitic, various BDS activists have previously gone on record opposing the two state solution and affirming that the movement seeks Israel’s destruction, with BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti saying in 2014 that Palestinians have a right to “resistance by any means, including armed resistance,” and leading activist As’ad Abu Khalil writing in 2012 that, “Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.”

“Anti-Semitic, far-left activists wrote this crazy resolution, and it should have never seen the light of day,” Sen. Bill Cassidy said in a statement released by his office Thursday. “I’m glad the city council listened to the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans and the Anti-Defamation League and reversed its embarrassing endorsement of the anti-Israel BDS movement. Going forward, I hope they’ll refuse any invitation to align the great city of New Orleans with a Palestinian government that routinely sponsors terrorism and encourages the murder of Jews.”

Cassidy had previously urged the council to rescind the measure and is also one of 51 bipartisan co-sponsors of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720), which “seeks to counter the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.”

[Photo: Vegasjon / WikiCommons]