On August 16, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed an anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) bill. According to the bill, the BDS movement, which encourages boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israel “is a thinly disguised attempt to demonize Israel.”

S-1923 prohibits investment of state pension and annuity funds in companies that boycott Israeli goods, products, or businesses. The legislation was sponsored by Senator James Beach (D-Cherry Hill) and Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood).

At the signing ceremony, Governor Christie stated “Standing with Israel, for peace and democracy, requires more than just pledging military defense and support. It is in all of our best interests to invest in and partner with Israel, while opposing any attempt to wipe out Israel, economically or otherwise.

Since the original introduction of the bill in January, Agudath Israel remained involved in supporting the bill by testifying before Senate and Assembly committees and initiating a grassroots letter-writing campaign. Agudath Israel’s New Jersey director Rabbi Avi Schnall and Agudath Israel of New Jersey chairman Ralph Zucker attended the signing ceremony at the invitation of Governor Christie.

“Agudath Israel is very pleased that Governor Christie and the New Jersey Legislature have taken this courageous step and made such a strong statement against the anti-Semitic BDS movement. We hope it will serve as an example to other states throughout the country” said Rabbi Schnall.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaking at the bill signing ceremony of New Jersey's anti-BDS bill. Agudath Israel's New Jersey Director Rabbi Avi Schnall (bottom right corner) was one of several Jewish community leaders invited to the event.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaking at the bill signing ceremony of New Jersey’s anti-BDS bill. Agudath Israel’s New Jersey Director Rabbi Avi Schnall (bottom right corner) was one of several Jewish community leaders invited to the event.