Virginia Assembly Passes Resolution Defending Israel
Jewish communities across Virginia are expressing gratitude to the state General Assembly for passing a bipartisan resolution that defends Israel from anti-Israel forces that have been trying to undermine the Jewish state.
House Joint Resolution 177 condemns the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel.
The Virginia House of Delegates adopted the resolution Wednesday, 85 to 5.
Lawmakers sent a message rejecting BDS, calling it "inherently antithetical and deeply damaging to the cause of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all peoples in the Middle East."
Delegate Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach) was the chief patron of HJ177.
"The BDS movement is a misguided and dangerous attempt to isolate Israel from the community of nations at a time where the threats to the Jewish state are the highest in decades," Miyares said.
In a news release, Virginia Jewish Communities called BDS "a serious domestic policy matter" that "impacts the citizens of the Commonwealth by spreading anti-Semitic hatred and creating an intimidating and hostile environment for those who support strong US-Israel ties or engage in economic, cultural, academic, or scientific activities with the people of Israel."
The release went on to say, "BDS supporters have tried to chill debate and intimidate Israel supporters on campuses, in professional associations, and the interfaith community. Moreover, by seeking to shut down the mutually beneficial and longstanding ties Virginia has with Israel, BDS promotes severe damage to the Commonwealth and its economy."
The group expressed appreciation to the General Assembly, for showing support for the State of Israel, opposing BDS, and "standing up for reconciliation, hope, and a peaceful future in the Middle East."
"I was proud to carry the legislation and am extremely proud that the Virginia General Assembly, the oldest democracy in the Western Hemisphere, has publicly stood with America's strongest ally in the Middle East, Israel," Miyares said.
The United States federal government, Canada, the UK, France and more than 10 states have taken a stand against BDS.