Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

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)

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

Common Dreams staff

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:


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Huge Victory' as Judge Blocks Biden's Oil Lease Sale in Gulf of Mexico

"The Biden administration must end new leasing and phase out existing drilling," said one advocate. "Anything less would be a gross failure of climate leadership."

Jake Johnson ·


'Utterly Shameless': Former Democratic Senators Join Fossil Fuel Lobby Group

"This is climate denial and shameful bullshit," scoffed one scientist. "Also the future for Manchin and Sinema."

Brett Wilkins ·


'When You Don't Change People's Lives, People Get Upset,' Says AOC

To reverse slump in Democratic approval ratings, the congresswoman said Biden should start by cancelling student loan debt.

Julia Conley ·


Sioux Tribe Withdraws as Cooperating Agency Over Dakota Access Pipeline Threat

"The prospect of an oil spill during such low water is truly scary," says the tribe's Water Resources Department administrator.

Jessica Corbett ·


New Report Shows How US Transportation System 'Fuels Inequality'

Favoring cars over public transit has "consequences for racial and economic justice, the environment, and more," the Institute for Policy Studies warns.

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo