AIPAC Anti-BDS Work

 

AIPAC pic
AIPAC
Image: AIPAC.org

Harvey Bell, a financial advisor in Short Hills, New Jersey, stays active in the American Israeli community. In addition to supporting Senator Bob Menendez, Harvey Bell participates in the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a bipartisan group seeking to improve and maintain relations between the United States and Israel.

AIPAC advocacy includes many elements, but one major component is the fight against economic warfare, also known as Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) efforts. AIPAC seeks legislation that protects firms which do certain types of business beyond the 1949 Armistice line, including in East Jerusalem and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. Its legislative efforts on this field consist of anti-boycott laws, the consideration of BDS activity in appraising credit applications from foreign companies, and the right of government organizations to disassociate pensions and contracts from entities that boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel.

It has seen some success in this work through both legal and social pressure. In 2015, American negotiators were encouraged to help halt European BDS efforts by the Trade Promotion Authority. Congress has also, thanks to AIPAC efforts, pressed free trade partners such as Bahrain and Oman to end BDS activity.