New York will join 8 others states that have passed anti-BDS laws, which “fundamentally violate first amendment rights,” and attempt to “stigmatize and marginalize” supporters of the non-violent movement, said Ali Abunimah, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo raised the ire of free speech defenders and supporters of Palestinian liberation after he signed an executive order that bars the state from conducting business with organizations participating in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

“If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you,” Cuomo said.

The fact that an Israeli governor official was present Cuomo signed the executive order reflects symbolically how “has been directly pushed by the Israel government, in state legislatures, at the federal level, and in other countries,” says Abunimah.

Cuomo himself explained that a executive order would allow the governor to avoid going through the legislature.

“Democracy is a very tedious thing when you’re trying to shore up Israeli apartheid,” said Abunimah, who also pointed out the different treatment given by state officials to the boycotts against the state of North Carolina for its recent anti-LGBT law.

Ali Hasan Abunimah

Ali Abunimah is co-founder of the award-winning online publication The Electronic Intifada and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. His latest book is titled The Battle for Justice in Palestine. Based in Chicago, he has written hundreds of articles on the question of Palestine in major publications including The New York Times, The Guardian and for Al Jazeera.