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California Democrats Vote to Oppose Federal Anti-BDS Bill

The California Democratic Party adopted a resolution at their annual convention on Sunday to oppose federal bills intended to thwart the movement to boycott Israel.

The party’s legislative committee also supported a proposed federal bill preventing the Israel Defense Forces from using U.S. tax dollars to detain Palestinian children, but did not make it into the platform.

The federal bills are the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which could impose fines of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison for boycotting Israel, and the Combatting BDS Act, which encourages states to pass their own laws against boycotting Israel.

The party’s legislative committee supported the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act, which would prevent American defense aid from being used for military operations that detain Palestinian children. Four California Democrats are among the 21 co-sponsors of the bill.

However, efforts to insert language condemning President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem into the platform were not successful. Instead, the platform affirms Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and states that the embassy move there should not “remove it from final status negotiations.” The platform also states that the “Palestinian capital could exist in East Jerusalem if the Palestinians desire.”

The party also declined to endorse Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Senate’s longest-serving Jewish member, for a fifth term.

Contact Avichai Scher at scher@forward.com or on Twitter, @avi_scher

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California Democrats Vote to Oppose Federal Anti-BDS Bill

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