California Democrats have rejected proposed legislation targeting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, in a further sign of a growing partisan divide in the US over Israel.
The developments were welcomed in a 28 February press release by the Progressive, Arab American and Veterans Caucuses of the California Democratic Party.
On 25 February, at their annual convention in San Diego, California Democrats approved a set of positions on pending legislation that includes opposition to the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, "a federal bill that would impose draconian penalties for boycotts regarding Israel under certain circumstances".
California Democrats also backed a platform that excised a section from an earlier draft that would have had them "join the national Democratic Party in opposing any effort to delegitimise Israel, including at the United Nations or through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement".
"We hope and believe that…the tide is starting to turn against this concerted effort to stigmatise and suppress a form of nonviolent protest against Israeli government policies that is taking hold around the country," said Iyad Alfalqa, chair of the Arab American Caucus.
The party also approved a recommendation from the Legislation Committee to support the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act, introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., "that would prevent the use of US tax dollars for the Israeli military's ongoing detention and mistreatment of Palestinian children".