by Reuters, Yoni Hersch and Israel Hayom Staff
Measure would make the boycott of the Jewish state a violation of federal law and cement state-level prohibitions on anti-Israel activity
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaking to the
media on Tuesday
Legislation that would penalize entities for boycotting Israel got overwhelming support in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, dealing another blow to the boycott divestment and sanctions movement.
The Senate backed the Strengthening America's Security in the Middle East Act by a lopsided 77-23 hours before President Donald Trump delivered his annual State of the Union speech discussing his policies for the year.
The bill includes language that would make it illegal to boycott Israel at the federal level. It also protects the more than two dozen states that have passed laws penalizing entities that discriminate against the Jewish state.
To become law, however, the bill would need to pass the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, where it is unlikely to move without significant changes.
Opponents of the bill, which include presidential hopefuls in the Democratic Party, argue that Americans' participation in boycotts is protected by the constitutional right to free speech.
Reuters, Yoni Hersch and Israel Hayom Staff
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