On June 5, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. The order was signed hours before the start of New York’s annual Celebrate Israel Parade and will require state agencies to divest themselves of companies and organizations that are aligned with the BDS movement.
At the signing, which took place at the Harvard Club in Manhattan, Cuomo said that New York is Israel’s “true friend.”
“And it’s very simple. If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you,” he said. “If you divert revenues from Israel, New York will divert revenues from you. If you sanction Israel, New York will sanction you. Period.”
New York is the first state where the governor has taken executive action against the BDS movement. Several state legislatures have passed anti-BDS legislation, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and South Carolina. A total of 21 states have taken up anti-BDS legislation.
Cuomo, who is a Democrat, criticized elements of the Democratic Party that have taken stands that are seen as being anti-Israel.
“As a Democrat, I always took for granted that there was a natural relationship with Israel that was unquestionable,” Cuomo said. “You now have aspects of the Democratic Party that are being critical of Israel as being disproportionate in its response.”
Alphonso David, counsel to the governor, told The New York Times before the executive order was signed that he expects a number of companies that do business with the state of New York that endorse or are involved with the BDS movement to be “quite significant.”