Gov. Cuomo Decrees Boycott & Blacklist to Silence Global BDS Movement for Palestinian Rights

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Gov. Cuomo Decrees Boycott & Blacklist to Silence Global BDS Movement for Palestinian Rights

'What Israel and its thuggish lobby can't achieve by persuasion they obtain via repression and coercion,' responded one prominent campaigner for Palestinian rights

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signs a first-in-the-nation Executive Order directing the divestment of public funds supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel during a breakfast meeting at the Harvard Club. Afterwards, (Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stirred the immediate ire of human rights campaigners around the world on Sunday by signing an executive order calling for the creation of a "blacklist" that would track groups and individuals who support Palestinian rights through the international Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement known as BDS.

As the New York Times reports:

Mr. Cuomo made his announcement in a speech at the Harvard Club in Manhattan to an audience including local Jewish leaders and lawmakers, describing the B.D.S. movement as an “economic attack” on Israel.

“We cannot allow that to happen,” the governor said, adding that, “If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you.”

Several states have moved to support Israel and prevent their governments and agencies from doing business with companies or individuals that endorse the boycotts. Similar bills have been introduced in both houses of the New York Legislature, and a Republican-sponsored bill passed the state Senate, which that party leads, in January.

But on Sunday, Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, flexed his executive power — a more familiar demonstration in the governor’s second term — joking that passing legislation can “often be a tedious affair,” and saying instead he wanted “immediate action” on B.D.S., while challenging other governors in other states to do the same.

A global movement committed to fighting nonviolently to end the illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the subjugation of the Palestinian people in the Occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, BDS has been under increasing attack by those threatened by the support for human rights it has galvanized worldwide and for shining a critical light on the abusive policies of the Israeli government when it comes to the treatment of Palestinians.

In a series of tweets, prominent Palestinian rights activist and journalist Ali Abunimah was among the first to express his contempt for the move by Cuomo:

Among progressives, Abunimah was far from alone in his critique:

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