The Illinois legislation behind this move, SB 1761, was passed in 2015. It made Illinois the first state in the country to punish companies for boycotting Israeli trade. Now, Illinois is the first state to actually form a list of companies barred from working with the state’s government due to their alleged boycott of Israel.
Colorado and Florida joined in on passing anti-BDS legislation this month. The states both approved legislation similar to Illinois to block companies thought to be boycotting Israeli trade from doing business with their governments.
The Virginia resolution states that the BDS movement “is inherently antithetical and deeply damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all peoples in the Middle East.” It affirms the commitment of members of Virginia to support Israel and oppose “all attempts to economically and politically isolate Israel within the international arena, including promotion of economic, cultural, and academic boycotts, and all efforts to assault the legitimacy of the State of Israel as the sovereign homeland of the Jewish people.”
In academia, on March 23rd, the University of California’s Board of Regents unanimously adopted a statement described in mainstream media as “condemning anti-Semitism.” The statement also explicitly condemns “anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism.” In January the working group that developed the statement proposed the declaration should read “Anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism and other forms of discrimination have no place at University of California.” However, following criticism of censorship, it was changed to anti-Semitic anti-Zionism.