Congress may make it easier to divest from anti-Israel companies

posted at 6:41 pm on February 10, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

Whenever I see a headline with the words Israel and “divestment” in it I immediately feel tired. Of course, it usually involves students on various campuses who have taken time out from their demands for safe spaces and trigger warnings to oppress somebody else, so it’s fairly easy to ignore them. Still, the BDS movement has shown up in other places and it’s constant sore spot for most sane people around the country. This week, however, the headline lead to news of a very different sort. In fact, you could pretty much call it the opposite of the usual food fight. (Washington Free Beacon)

A bipartisan coalition in both the House and Senate are pushing legislation that would authorize all state and local governments to divest taxpayer funds from any company that engages in boycotts of Israel, according to interviews with lawmakers and a copy of the bill obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The new bill, which was filed Wednesday afternoon, marks an aggressive push by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to combat the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, otherwise known as BDS, which advocates in favor of economic war against the Jewish state.

The bill would provide legal shelter to states seeking to divest taxpayer funds from any company that has backed the BDS movement. It also would set a legal precedent granting safe harbor for private investment companies to do the same.

The entire investment / divestment question is one which seems to veer away from the normal role of government oversight and I always find it counterproductive. Investment of any sort should be profit driven, otherwise what’s the point? When I see people divesting from fossil fuels to “make a point” in the political battlefield all I can think is that the people they represent are not being well served. By the same token, anyone can refuse to send their money to anything they find particularly odious if they aren’t making that decision for a bunch of other people who may have no control over the investment strategy.

What I’m waiting to find more about regarding this legislation is the type of protection which would be required for any state, company or individual who wished to divest from anti-Israel companies. In the case of private individuals or privately held corporations, who could possibly punish them for making such a divestiture move? Now when it comes to the states I can see where some snags might arise. Would this include “investments” in the form of payments to companies with government contracts? That could get ugly quickly given all of the complex laws for awarding government contracts, including requirements to go to the lowest bidder in some cases or set asides for minority owned companies in others. Turning around and saying “no contract for you” because they were pushing BDS would probably result in an immediate tangle of lawsuits which would tie up operations for years.

The idea of providing some shelter for anti-BDS companies is an admirable one on principle, but we’ll have to wait and see how it would actually be implemented.

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Comments

Gonna need a bigger garage.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B6OuCTGCEAA06r7.jpg

IDontCair on February 10, 2016 at 6:46 PM

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Or, not.

vnvet on February 10, 2016 at 6:52 PM

Steven Rattner [email protected] 1d1 day ago
Wow – exit polls show 66% of GOP NH primary voters support a ban on Muslims entering the US

And we got a whole string of GOP candidates, including Cruz, that DON’T support a Muslim ban. 16 out of 17 candidates were against it, but 66% of the electorate is for it. Insane.

anotherJoe on February 10, 2016 at 6:54 PM

I dunno… I don’t support a “muslim” ban but I do support a ban on immigrants from countries that want to destroy us.

Canadian Muslims should be fine.

Skywise on February 10, 2016 at 7:03 PM

The new bill, which was filed Wednesday afternoon, marks an aggressive push by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to combat the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, otherwise known as BDS, which advocates in favor of economic war against the Jewish state

.

Isn’t this an outgrowth of another BDS, as in Bush Derangement Syndrome?

Steve Z on February 10, 2016 at 7:05 PM

Sorry Jazz,

This is election year politicking. Meaningless.

Happy Nomad on February 10, 2016 at 7:11 PM

IDontCair on February 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM

I saw that. It was fine that he singled out anti-gunners-but there was no reason to bring their Jewishness into it.
There’s plenty of non-Jewish anti-gunners too.

annoyinglittletwerp on February 10, 2016 at 7:22 PM

And we got a whole string of GOP candidates, including Cruz, that DON’T support a Muslim ban. 16 out of 17 candidates were against it, but 66% of the electorate is for it. Insane.

anotherJoe on February 10, 2016 at 6:54 PM

I heartily approve of the measure – shooting them all would be okay with me, too – but we’re not a democracy to run the country by plurality vote. Put to a vote taking half the money from all families whose surname starts with, say, ‘A’ and splitting it among the rest of voters, you’d be surprised by the support level.

Rix on February 10, 2016 at 7:25 PM

Paulbots hit hardest

The Notorious G.O.P on February 10, 2016 at 7:26 PM

Investment of any sort should be profit driven, otherwise what’s the point?

You’re literally arguing that it doesn’t matter if it is evil, it only matters if you make a profit. Do you seriously believe that?

A lot of companies invested in Nazi Germany and made huge profits doing so, are you going to argue they were serving their shareholders well by doing so?

Tlaloc on February 10, 2016 at 7:36 PM

The idea of providing some shelter for anti-BDS companies is an admirable one on principle, but we’ll have to wait and see how it would actually be implemented.

Yep, there are some potential First Amendment issues here. Make it easier for state and local governments to discriminate against companies that takes a particular stand on Israel and you’re essentially allowing governments to discriminate against one political stance in favor of another.

NorthernCross on February 10, 2016 at 8:41 PM

Nugent steps in it.

http://www.bizpacreview.com/2016/02/10/gun-owners-call-for-ted-nugent-to-resign-from-the-nra-board-over-latest-dust-up-304306
.
IDontCair on February 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM

.
I saw that. It was fine that he singled out anti-gunners-but there was no reason to bring their Jewishness into it.
There’s plenty of non-Jewish anti-gunners too.
.
annoyinglittletwerp on February 10, 2016 at 7:22 PM

.
Dittos ‘twerp . . . . . I don’t understand that one at all.
.
.
Ted … you know we love you…

But, what in the blessed HANG is it with the Israeli flags?

listens2glenn on February 10, 2016 at 9:06 PM

Investment of any sort should be profit driven, otherwise what’s the point?
.
posted at 6:41 pm on February 10, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

.
You’re literally arguing that it doesn’t matter if it is evil, it only matters if you make a profit. Do you seriously believe that?

A lot of companies invested in Nazi Germany and made huge profits doing so, are you going to argue they were serving their shareholders well by doing so?
.
Tlaloc on February 10, 2016 at 7:36 PM

.
Your example describes a situation, where recognition of God, and having a personal relationship with God, can’t be done without, or substituted with anything else.

I’m going to give the “companies” you mentioned, the benefit of the doubt, and assume they invested in Nazi Germany before Hitler’s long term goal was apparent (if they did know, then they’re flat-out criminal).
Having an intimate relationship with God, would greatly help someone steer away from making such “investments” before the damages done from making such an investment, become obvious.

God is the original “Jew”, Who taught Israel, and subsequently all of us, the validity and value of “PROFIT” … But NOT at the expense of aiding and abetting your ENEMIES.

listens2glenn on February 10, 2016 at 9:32 PM

When I see people divesting from fossil fuels to “make a point” in the political battlefield all I can think is that the people they represent are not being well served. By the same token, anyone can refuse to send their money to anything they find particularly odious if they aren’t making that decision for a bunch of other people who may have no control over the investment strategy.

Same thing with charity.
You can give your money to anyone your want, including ABAWDs as in the earlier post if you so desire, but you have no right to give other people’s money to them.
Just because welfare +tax =extortion is legal doesn’t make it right.

AesopFan on February 10, 2016 at 10:53 PM

Canadian Muslims should be fine.
Skywise on February 10, 2016 at 7:03 PM

Not really. Canadians are even more afraid to upset them. Full Burgas are very common.

Nutstuyu on February 10, 2016 at 11:10 PM

Burqas.

Nutstuyu on February 10, 2016 at 11:12 PM