In 2017, North Carolina Democrat Governor Roy Cooper signed into law legislation that would prevent the state from doing business with companies that boycott the Jewish state of Israel. Now, that law is under threat by a new strain of North Carolina Democrats.
A resolution offered throughout the North Carolina Democrats' Virtual Summer 2021 SEC meeting called for the Democratic caucus at the North Carolina General Assembly to examine ways to abolish the legislation curtailing the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, declaring it "an unconstitutional law infringing on the First Amendment right to free speech."
According to those with knowledge of the events, the decision was passed by a majority vote.
The anti-BDS bill initially passed the state House of Representatives by a vote of 96-19 and the state Senate by 45-3.
Arutz Sheva stressed that as of 2017, "North Carolina businesses conduct nearly $140 million per year in exports and commerce with Israel."
The North Carolina Democrats called the state law "unconstitutional," and its repeal "essential to advocate freely for the restoration of full human rights for the Palestinian people and to end Israel’s practice of apartheid and persecution as the law is inherently anti-Palestinian."
Thirty-three states have passed laws or issued executive orders against the antisemitic BDS movement, which targets the Jewish state. The move by the North Carolina Democrats was highlighted by a recent high-profile boycott attempt by an American company.
Last month, Ben & Jerry’s stated that the US-based ice-cream maker will not recover its license agreement with its current Israeli partner and to boycott the Biblical areas of Judea and Samaria in Israel. Unilever, Ben and Jerry’s parent company and announced in a statement, "We believe it is inconsistent with our values for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to be sold in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)."
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned Ben and Jerry’s Unilever CEO Alan Jope that the ice cream maker’s choice to stop sales would have "severe consequences, legal and otherwise."
Israel Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced, "Over 30 states in the United States have passed anti-BDS legislation in recent years. I plan on asking each of them to enforce these laws against Ben & Jerry’s. They will not treat the State of Israel like this without a response."
According to The Daily Wire, following massive backlash to Unilever’s choice, "Ben & Jerry’s franchisees located in major American cities that operate 30 stores with a total of $23.3 million in revenue annually wrote a letter asking Unilever to rescind the boycott, not for any moral reason, but because they were losing money."