Matt Arco, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
TRENTON — New Jersey on Tuesday became the third state in the nation to put a law on its books to oppose a movement that encourages a boycott of Israeli goods and services.
Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a bipartisan measure that bars the state's public worker pension fund from investing in companies that refuse to do business with Israel.
The Garden State joins Florida and Illinois, which have similar laws. It's a public pushback against businesses participating in the Palestinian-led "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions" movement.
The BDS movement is a global campaign to put pressure on Israeli to stop "colonizing Palestinian land, discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and denying Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes."Read more
By John C. Ensslin, The Record
Governor Christie signed into law on Tuesday a measure that prohibits state investments in any company that boycotts Israel.
“Israel is the beacon of democracy in a region that is in constant conflict and turmoil” Christie said moments after signing the bill.
He noted New Jersey does $1.3 billion in trade with Israel annually.
Christie encouraged other states to adopt similar measures.
Assemblyman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, D-Englewood, one of the bill’s prime sponsors, was present for the bill signing at the State House.
“I’m very grateful,” she said afterwards. “I’m happy to see that New Jersey remains a strong ally to Israel. The purpose of the bill is to make sure – they are the sole democracy in that area – that we don’t stifle them.”
The bill, which had 60 co-sponsors, passed the Assembly by a 70-3 vote. It was unanimously approved in the Senate where the Israeli Consul General from New York addressed the lawmakers before the vote.Read more
Vainieri Huttle, Schaer, Pinkin, Mukherji, Lampitt & Mazzeo Bill Barring State Pension Investments in Anti-Israel Companies Now Law
(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Gary Schaer, Nancy Pinkin, Raj Mukherji, Pamela Lampitt and Vince Mazzeo prohibiting the investment of New Jersey public employee retirement funds in any company that boycotts, divests, or sanctions Israel or Israeli businesses has been signed into law.
Vainieri Huttle, Schaer, Pinkin, Mukherji and Lampitt all took part in a legislative study mission to Israel earlier this year where they gained insight into how Israel, a $1.7 billion trade partner with New Jersey, provides international leadership in new technology and humanitarian assistance and works to achieve peace and address the security concerns of its citizens.
"This legislation is designed to combat the 'Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions' movement targeted against Israel," said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "With the power of our pension funds, we're sending a statement that we will not stand for any global attempts to delegitimize our partner in democracy and freedom."
"The BDS movement is an attempt to punish and isolate Israel, who has been a long-standing ally of the United States and a cooperative partner with New Jersey," said Schaer (D-Bergen), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. "Our multi-billion dollar pension fund is a formidable disincentive for those considering boycotting Israel."