Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, introduced legislation last week in the state House of Representatives condemning the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.
Shea, who has worked on this issue for the past several years, says with nearly as many Democrat co-sponsors as Republican, he is hopeful the bill will get a public hearing in the House.
"We have strong bipartisan support for this measure as we seek to reaffirm Israel's right to exist," said Shea, R-Spokane Valley. "In an era of so much divisiveness, we need to be promoting things that bring us together. I have high hopes that my bill will be looked upon favorably by the majority party and receive a public hearing." Shea's measure, House Joint Memorial 4009, specifically recognizes the long-standing friendship and cooperation between Israel and the United States, as well as the common business, artistic, governmental, cultural, and educational interests.
The memorial also denounces recent efforts throughout college campuses around the nation to make anti-Semitism mainstream, often referred to as the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement.
"The double standard many in our society and around the world have for hateful behavior is astounding," said Shea. "Israel is a friend to the U.S., the state of Washington and all our citizens. We share cultural, religious, historical and governmental similarities. Yet, expressing animosity and intimidation toward Israel and the Jewish people has become the action-du-jour. It's the cool thing to do on many college campuses, and it's time we as a state and nation put our collective foot down and say 'enough is enough' towards the bigotry aimed at our close ally."
House Joint Memorials are the vehicles used for the Legislature to send specific messages to congress and the president. While not necessarily carrying the weight of law they are commonly referred to as the collective voice of the Legislature.
House Joint Memorial 4009 was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
The 2017 legislative session is scheduled to last 105 days.