(Portside) -- On Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order that directs state agencies to divest themselves of companies and organizations that support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activity regarding Israel, “either directly or through a parent or subsidiary.” He held a speech proclaiming this at the Harvard Club in Manhattan, to an “audience including local Jewish leaders and lawmakers” as the New York Times reports. After that he went out to march in the Celebrate Israel march on 5th Avenue. Just before entering the parade he boasted to reporters: “I am the first governor in the country to sign an executive order saying we oppose the boycott of Israel. I am proud of it and I hope other states follow our lead”. Cuomo has been named as the co-chair of the American Jewish Committee’s Governors against BDS initiative.
An executive order? To avert an act which stands under constitutional right (1st Amendment)? Executive orders are meant to avert imminent or existential crises that cannot await legislation.
But it seems that this is not merely an act that would anticipate expected legislation as such. As the NY Daily News reported, State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan “praised the executive order, which he said was necessary because the Assembly was likely not in favor of the counter-boycott.”
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