April 24, 2017
Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:
“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) is pleased by today’s strong showing of bipartisan support for the pro-Israel/anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement) bill in the Minnesota State Senate. Thanks to the strong leadership of Senators Warren Limmer, Ron Latz, and Paul Anderson, House File 400 passed by a margin of 57-8. The bill prohibits Minnesota from contracting with businesses which discriminate against Israelis and is similar to measures already passed in 18 other states.
“The bill has one last procedural step in the Minnesota House before it is sent to Governor Mark Dayton for his signature. Thanks to the leadership of Representatives Ron Kresha and Jon Applebaum, a substantially similar version passed earlier this Session in the House by a margin of 98-28. According to media reports, Governor Dayton said he intends to sign the bill should it reach his desk.
“We are grateful to the steadfast backing of our JCRC board, as well as our many grassroots organizers and supporters in the Minnesota and Jewish communities who sent thousands of messages of support to their State Senators and Representatives. We are also appreciative of Jacob Millner and The Israel Project who’ve been with us every step of the way.
“According to Ethan Roberts, who spearheaded the JCRC’s lobbying efforts in support of HF 400 at the Minnesota State Capitol, ‘today’s bipartisan vote and the one which preceded it in the Minnesota House is a clear signal that the people of Minnesota value our relationship with the people of Israel and oppose the anti-Semitic BDS Movement, which in the words of its co-founder ‘oppose[s] a Jewish state in any part of Palestine [and maintains that Jews] are not a people.’
“Finally, the JCRC looks forward to continuing our partnership with Palestinians such as Walid Issa who are committed to a two-state solution and have made it publicly clear that he ‘see[s] no contradiction between dedicating my life to achieving a free and independent Palestine and strongly opposing the BDS movement.’”
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.