(Santa Clara, CA – 02/29/16)Â The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) today called on California legislators to oppose AB 1551 and AB 1552 as introduced by Assemblyman Travis Allen (AD 72).
AB 1551, known as the California-Israel Commerce Protection Act, requires that California's pension systems divest from any companies that boycott Israel. AB 1552 would require companies that wish to do business with the state government to certify that they do not conduct boycotts against California's trading partners.
These bills are designed to counter and undermine boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) efforts that protest unlawful Israeli settlements in Palestinian land. Implementation of AB 1551 and 1552 would alienate a growing number of businesses, major church denominations, charitable foundations, university student governments, labor unions, and investors who have called to boycott or take other economic measures against companies and institutions complicit in Israel's human rights abuses.
Boycotts supporting civil and human rights such as the Montgomery Bus boycott against segregation or the boycott of companies enabling South African apartheid have been revered throughout American history as an integral part of our political process and means by which to participate in democracy.
“The proposed bills violate our right to engage in free speech,” said Sameena Usman, CAIR-SFBA Government Relations Coordinator. “It would be un-American to deny constituents the right to exercise these freedoms.”
CAIR-CA also recently launched an online action alert urging California residents to contact their legislators to encourage them to oppose AB 1551 and AB 1552.
CAIR-California is a chapter of America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialog, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR-SFBA Government Relations Coordinator Sameena Usman, 408.986.9874, email@example.com