Among the opponents was Stacey Abrams, then the top Democrat in the House, who called herself an “unwavering ally” to the Jewish community but said she voted against the measure because it could set a precedent that could deter advocacy movements from taking root.
The revised measure was approved with overwhelming bipartisan support and the backing of state Rep. Mike Wilensky, a Dunwoody Democrat who is the only Jewish member of the state Legislature.
Anat Sultan-Dadon, Israel’s consul general to the southeast U.S., said the law is designed to fight a movement that is “simply an age-old hatred agenda demonizing and delegitimizing the Jewish people.”
It was adopted despite opposition from the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which urged supporters to ask Kemp to veto the “last-ditch attempt” by state lawmakers to revive the pledge.
The opponents pointed out that U.S. District Judge Mark Cohen ruled that the anti-boycott pledge that the documentarian was asked to sign was “no different than requiring a person to espouse certain political beliefs or to engage in certain political associations.”
Supporters of the revamped measure say it reflects the state’s right to choose which companies it will contract with, but that it doesn’t penalize companies that choose not to do business with Israel for economic reasons.
“We will see what the federal courts have to say about this,” said state Rep. John Carson, a Marietta Republican who authored the measure. “But we feel it strikes the right balance between protecting our interests with the state of Israel and also allowing free speech.”