On Saturday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2844, a measure that would prohibit public contracts with any company participating in BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) against Israel and other countries.
Authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), and supported by several advocacy groups including Agudath Israel of California, AB 2844 passed both chambers of the California Legislature with a combined vote total of 100-2. Together with other stakeholders, Agudath Israel of California participated in a productive meeting with Nancy McFadden, Executive Secretary to Governor Brown, a few days prior to the signing of the bill.
“The state of California sent a strong message that it does not tolerate discrimination, hate, or bigotry,” said Bloom. “The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement seeks to undermine the state of Israel and replace the world’s only Jewish homeland, and only functioning democracy in the Middle East, with a single Palestinian State. AB 2844 helps put an end to that movement here in California.”
AB 2844, requires companies, when bidding on a state contract, to self-certify that they have a non-discrimination policy that complies with the Unruh Civil Rights Act and the Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA). In addition, a company cannot have a policy against any sovereign nation or peoples recognized by the government of the United States, including, but not limited to, the nation and people of Israel.
“Agudath Israel of California commends Assemblymember Bloom and Governor Brown” said Agudath Israel of California Chairman Dr. Irving Lebovics, “for recognizing that BDS is a misguided, dangerous movement which seeks to delegitimize Israel and is a manifestation of animus against Jews as a people.”