Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL) has been involved for years in the legislative battles to counteract efforts by the BDS movement to harm Israel.
On Sunday, the Illinois Republican spoke with Arutz Sheva about the BDS movement, and described some of the recent bills passed targeting BDS initiatives.
“BDS is an insidious effort to marginalize Israel,” Roskam told Arutz Sheva. “It’s part of a longer-term strategy for people not to protest against Israel, but people that actually want Israel destroyed, and the American Congress recognizes that.”
One recently passed law, Roskam explains, makes BDS an issue in America’s trade policy, not just Israel’s.
“So what we’ve done is we’ve said, look, it is part of American trade policy now, particularly vis-a-vis our European trading partners”.
The legislation, he explained, ensures that American “trade negotiators are doing everything they can to push back against European BDS in particular”.
While the lawmaker noted that his initiatives have enjoyed broad bipartisan support in Congress, the White House has a mixed record on the issue.
“The current White House has given mixed signals. On the one hand President Obama signed this into law, and then very quickly came out and said he didn’t like the way that it dealt with the settlement issue for example.”
Congressman Roskam was also critical President Obama’s handling of the US-Israel relationship generally, blaming him for the icy relations between the White House and Jerusalem.
“I don’t think that the relationship that the Obama administration has forced upon Israel really reflects where most American’s are, and I’ve been really critical about how the administration has treated Israel.”
“I hope that the next administration will realize that recognize that it is not only good for Israel to have a strong relationship, but it’s good for the United States to have a strong relationship with Israel.”