Los Angeles – The Los Angeles City Council unanimously weighed in to support strengthening AB 2844 that would prohibit California from participating in contracts with businesses who engage or support the BDS movement. The original version of the bill did this but the current version has been significantly weakened. BDS, which stands for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions, is a global movement designed to demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel; the only democracy in the Middle East, a stalwart ally of the United States and a critically important trading partner with California.
Councilmember Blumenfield stated, “My resolution shows that the City of Los Angeles supports restoring AB 2844 to its original form. The unanimous vote and the outpouring of public support sends a strong message that Los Angeles does not want to be complicit in the BDS anti-Semitic movement.”
A diverse group of supporters came forward to advocate for this motion including the teamsters, religious leaders and other Councilmembers.
Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell said, "In light of the recent shooting attack against the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender community in Orlando, and the fact that virtually all of Israel's neighbors have no laws against honor killings, there has never been a better time to show support for Israel and to take a stand against oppression and autocratic forms of government where freedom is restricted."
Director of Public Affairs for Teamsters JC42 Ed Rendon also spoke. “It was my pleasure to appear today before the Los Angeles City Council in a show of strong support for Councilmember Blumenfield’s Resolution to support AB 2844 in its original form. The BDS movement advocates boycotting businesses that do business in the state of Israel. A number of those companies have Teamster contracts, including such major companies Caterpillar, Raytheon, General Electric. The BDS movement will hurt our members.”
Pastor Jose Reynaldo Aquino from the Hispanics Allied for Israel said, “When we pray for Israel, we are praying for peace on earth. History says that when there is peace in Israel, there is peace on earth. And when there is war in Israel, there is war in the world.”
Councilmember Blumenfield concluded, “I wanted to lead the charge to bring together the wide spread support this bill has among labor and diverse religious organizations and to build momentum to strengthen the current version of the bill.”