Columbia, South Carolina
June 4, 2015

South Carolina passes law and calls on other states to forbid anti-Semitic boycotts

Myrtle Beach, SC - Representative Alan Clemmons issued the following statement in response to Governor Haley's signing of H. 3583. The bill passed unanimously through the SC House of Representatives on 3/25/15, and unanimously through the SC Senate on 5/27/15:

"I applaud the State of South Carolina, her legislature, her governor and her wonderful citizens for making H. 3583 the law. This bill protects the interests of the citizens of South Carolina by ensuring that they, through their state government, will not be party to discriminatory business practices. Furthermore, it ensures that South Carolina taxpayers do not indirectly subsidize conduct that weakens their trading partners, and thus potentially reduces business opportunities for South Carolinians."

"Specifically, H. 3583 protects South Carolina's government and funds from contractually being party to race, color, religion, gender, or national-origin based discrimination. Discrimination is ugly, it is contrary to the values of South Carolinians, and we wish to have no part in such morally repugnant practices."

"Discriminatory boycotts have historically been used as a form of economic warfare to forward the purposes of hatred and bigotry. The tactics employed by the Nazis serve as a poignant example. In this day and age, no group better demonstrates this fact than the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in its effort to harm our great ally, Israel."

"South Carolina conducts many millions of dollars in bilateral commerce and trade with Israel. The anti-Semitic hatred that permeates the BDS movement has been called out by expert groups such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) , and, ironically, even by other leading haters of Israel such as Norman Finkelstein. Simply put, 'BDS' has become the formal name for national-origin discrimination against Israel. H. 3583 places BDS into the context of other forms of discrimination that likewise emanate from hatred and bigotry, where it is best understood."

"The passage of H. 3583 is a seminal event in the fight against national-origin discrimination against Israel. South Carolina has now become the first of what will undoubtedly be many states to enact legislation that confronts BDS. We want the Israeli government and people to know that South Carolina stands with Israel against the hate and bigotry of the BDS movement. Appropriately, South Carolina has also just become the first state to issue a pro-Israel auto tag, which reads "South Carolina Stands with Israel" and bears the flag of both states."

"The fact that H. 3583 passed unanimously with so many sponsors through both the House of Representatives and the Senate clearly demonstrates that hatred, bigotry and the discrimination through which they are expressed are contrary to what South Carolina stands for. Consideration of H. 3583's applicability to South Carolina's state university system is already underway. H. 3583 should also be a deterrent to those who seek the imposition of undue labeling requirements upon goods from other countries, particularly those that serve to further national-origin based boycotts. South Carolina will be watching developments carefully. During South Carolina's next legislative session I will also be sponsoring complimentary legislation that recently passed in Illinois, which will divest state funds from entities that engage in BDS."

In celebrating the breakthrough achievement that H. 3583 represents for South Carolina's public policy, I wish to thank and particularly highlight the leading role of the pro-Israel Christian community in supporting H 3583. South Carolina's citizens stand with Israel as a matter of faith in God's Word and as a point of American patriotism. Hundreds of people cared enough to take time away from work and traveled to engage their government at the state capitol on this issue.

Finally, I wish to thank the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF), without whose expertise, research and educational support H. 3583 simply could not have happened. The expertise demonstrated by their professionals, in delivering the many informational resources needed to enact the country's first legislation confronting BDS, was nothing short of superior. I wish to particularly thank I thank the legal scholars and experts, lead by the brilliant Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, who helped to develop H. 3583 and ensure its effectiveness and Constitutionality. I also thank Susan Lande, who served as IAF's point person for H. 3583 and dedicated great time and effort.

The Israel Allies Foundation's work on H. 3583 is a huge blessing for South Carolina, America and Israel. Israel's community of supporters should be grateful for IAF's leadership in the fight against BDS, and must now invest in IAF's ability to successfully educate and resource legislators seeking to pass H. 3583 elsewhere. The State of South Carolina looks forward to seeing that happen in the near future with God's Help.

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