WASHINGTON –(ENEWSPF)–April 14, 2016. U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today issued the following statement after Israel warned German banks about the “potential legal, reputational and ethical consequences” of facilitating financial accounts used by anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) groups:
“I am alarmed by reports that Commerzbank, a German bank headquartered in Frankfurt with branches in Illinois and New York, may be one of several German banks facilitating accounts used by anti-Israel and anti-Semitic BDS groups, and I urge the Illinois Investment Policy Board to investigate these reports under our state’s first-in-the-nation anti-BDS law. Recent reports of pro-BDS German banks further underscore the need for Congress to pass the Combating BDS Act of 2016, a bipartisan bill to authorize state and local governments to follow Illinois’ lead and divest public taxpayer money from companies engaged in anti-Semitic BDS conduct.”
The necessity of enacting the Combating BDS Act of 2016 became all the more urgent after the Illinois Investment Policy Board (IIPB) recently approved the identification of 11 companies that boycott Israel and deemed these companies as prohibited from investment through laws set forth in Article 1 of the Illinois Pension Code.
So far, 19 Senators have co-sponsored the bipartisan Combating BDS Act of 2016 (S. 2531): Senators Kirk, Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) and, most recently, Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).