Albany, NY - WATCH: New York State Assembly Passes Anti-BDS Resolution, As Hikind Gives Powerful Pro-Israel Speech
Albany, NY - Assemblyman Dov Hikind gave an impassioned speech on the Assembly floor today in support of anti-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Resolution K00705 introduced by Assemblyman Walter Mosley (D-Brooklyn).
Throughout his remarks, Hikind displayed a great historical knowledge of the State of Israel, from its creation to the present day. The resolution passed the Assembly almost unanimously with a voice vote.
In an effort to appeal to his colleagues, Hikind said, “Ladies and gentlemen, from 1948 to this day, I do not believe there is a week that goes by that there is not an attempt to attack civilians in the state of Israel, to attack innocent men, women and children. . . . there are no two sides – it doesn’t mean that Israel is perfect or doesn’t make mistakes – there is only one side, one country that is looking to survive and others that are looking to destroy the state of Israel.”
With the passage of this resolution, New York State has now joined a growing nation-wide effort by state legislators to stand firmly opposed to efforts from the BDS movement which attempts to isolate Israel from the international community. States including Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois have passed similar resolutions and bills in recent months.
The resolution further condemns all activities that contribute directly or indirectly to the de-legitimization of the sovereignty of Israel as a Jewish state, and reaffirms the Assembly’s support for the State of Israel as the sovereign homeland of the Jewish people.
In the course of his remarks, Hikind asked his colleagues to imagine what it would be like for them to live under the constant threat of terror.
“Think for a second what it is like to live in a country, to live on your streets anywhere in the State of New York, in Brooklyn on Ocean Parkway, Queens Boulevard, all the other thoroughfares where you live and where a lot of people congregate. Imagine you get a siren, go off and you have ten seconds to run for cover because you don’t know where the missile is going to fall . . . . Is there any country in the world that lives in such a fashion? That has to deal with the situation in the North with Hezbollah, with Hamas in the South?”
He blasted those who justify the concept of BDS as a means of punishing Israel for its alleged mistreatment of the Palestinians, and said the United States also has innocent blood on its hands. “What are you supposed to do when your enemy sets up its launching of missiles among the population, that is what they’re doing, purposely so? What are you supposed to do, nothing? Just let your people be sacrificed? You’re not supposed to defend yourself? I care for every child, I care for every innocent person, all of us do, but are you supposed to defend yourself? We, the United States, right now is involved in bombing places in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen, other places. How many innocent civilians have American bombs killed over the last few months?”
In concluding, Hikind noted that out of all the countries in the world, only Israel is singled out for BDS. “It’s remarkable. 168 countries in the world, maybe it’s 169 by now in the United Nations, member nations of the United Nations. There’s no BDS movement, ladies and gentlemen,” Hikind remarked. “How about for the Russians? Is there a BDS movement for the Russians? We know how wonderful they are when it comes to human and civil rights. We know how they treat their people, people who disagree with the government - they disappear. What about places like China? What about countries throughout Asia and Africa – that mistreat its own people because they object to the government? Because they have disagreements with the government? And those people disappear or end up in jail. Countries in Latin America where there is no democracy of any kind. . . .
BDS is just an ugly façade for anti-Semitism, Hikind said, noting that no one likes to be called an anti-Semite. “No one wants to be called an anti-Semite. But the way to avoid that is to be anti-Zionist. Anti-Zionist equals anti-Semite. Anti-Semite equals anti-Zionist in almost all cases. . . . This is about doing the right thing. It’s not about saying I agree with every single action of the government of Israel. That is not what it is about. But Israel, every single day, fights for its survival.”
In a statement, prime sponsor Assemblyman Mosley said, “I want to commend my colleagues in the New York State Assembly for making a clear and resounding bipartisan statement against this anti-Semitic movement. While we, as trustees of our great state, seek to ensure that any level of bigotry and prejudice does not go unchallenged – this unequivocal and definitive statement of support for Israel is a necessary first step in our clear opposition to this movement and its so-called supporters.”
Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder added, “This is a very proud day for the New York State Assembly. “With partisanship often preventing action, support for Israel is one issue that continues to unite elected officials all across the country.”
Anti-BDS legislation is in the process of being drafted and will be introduced in the 2016 legislative session.
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