The Virginia House of Delegates on Wednesday passed a resolution condemning the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) targeting Israel. Virginia’s senate passed an identical resolution on Tuesday.
The resolution “condemn[s] the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and its activities in Virginia, as its agenda is inherently antithetical and deeply damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all peoples in the Middle East.”
The BDS movement, according to the resolution, called HJ177, “is one of the main vehicles advocating for policies leading to the dissolution of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and has sought to hijack social, political, religious, academic, cultural, and economic platforms to discriminatorily isolate Israel within the international community.”
The resolution “is a strong statement by the General Assembly that BDS is discriminatory and counterproductive and has no place in the commonwealth,” said Darcy Hirsh, director of Virginia government and community relations for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, which advocated for the resolution’s passage.
“BDS creates an atmosphere of hostility and intimidation on campuses, in professional associations and in the interfaith community,” Hirsh said.
The final vote in the House was 86 in favor, 5 opposing and 9 abstaining. In the Senate, it passed by a voice vote.