Many of the companies on New York State governor Andrew Cuomo’s new BDS blacklist say that they don’t actually boycott Israel, Politico New York reported this morning.
The list, quietly posted by a state agency last week, is the result of an executive order signed by Cuomo months ago to ban New York State from doing business with firms that back the movement to impose boycotts, divestment and sanctions on Israel.
Politico New York reports that some of the companies said that they do business with Israeli firms, while others said that they boycott businesses with operations in the occupied territories in the West Bank, but not in Israel proper.
“Royal HaskoningDHV does not boycott Israel and has been working on projects in the country for water, the environment and infrastructure for many years,” a spokesperson for the company, which appears on Cuomo’s list, told Politico.
Some mainstream Jewish groups supported the executive order, but civil liberties advocates opposed it.
The blacklist includes no firms that currently do business with New York State, meaning that it will have no immediate effect.
Some of the blacklisted firms contacted by Politico said that they only boycott companies based in the West Bank. A U.K. firm, The Co-operative Group, told Politico that it boycotts settlement business. “This position is not a boycott of Israeli businesses, and we continue to have supply agreements with many Israeli suppliers that do not source from the settlements, a number of which may benefit from a transfer of trade,” the company said.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.