ALBANY, N.Y., June 6 (UPI) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made it officially known that the Empire State will not tolerate a Palestinian-led boycott of Israel that's slowly gaining support in the United States.
The governor issued Executive Order 157 Sunday against the campaign -- called the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement -- which aims to push for Palestinian independence and pressure Israel economically over its treatment of Palestinians.
The BDS movement has attracted perhaps its largest following inside the United States on college campuses. Opponents, though, say it is an anti-Semitic attempt to harm Israel -- and pro-Jewish businesses are concerned the ongoing movement is taking its toll on Israel.
On Sunday, Cuomo finally took official action.
Citing a "special historical relationship" and "cultural bond" between New York and Israel, Cuomo's order allows for the state to fiscally punish people and groups aligned with the movement, stating, "The state of New York unequivocally rejects the BDS campaign and stands firmly with Israel."
"New York will not permit its own investment activity to further the BDS campaign in any way, shape or form, whether directly or indirectly," the order also states.
"New York stands in solidarity with Israel today and always," Cuomo said. "This state will not stand for the politics of discrimination in any form, and we will continue to demonstrate our unwavering support for the people of Israel in the fight for freedom, liberty and democracy.
"If you boycott Israel, New York will boycott you."
Cuomo, a longtime supporter of Israel, has previously stated that he believes the embattled Middle Eastern nation is constantly under attack -- militarily, politically and financially.
As expected, though, Cuomo's order was met with anything but universal acclaim.
Opponents have claimed for weeks that the punishment of supporters amounts to what some call "21st Century McCarthyism" -- a reference to former Sen. Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist witch-hunt of the 1950s.
"Cuomo's measure is illegitimate and an obvious pander," Center for Constitutional Rights Legal Director Baher Azmy said Monday. "On substance his 'enemies list' approach to suffocate opinions he and his financial supporters disapprove of is plainly unconstitutional in its McCarthyist vision. Nelson Mandela, who both understood the need to challenge state repression through economic pressure and who prioritized the Palestinian struggle for human rights would rightly be appalled by this craven pander to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's ugly agenda."
"Governor Cuomo has decided that his moral compass points in the direction of Joseph McCarthy rather than Rosa Parks," added the chairwoman of the center's board of directors, Katherine Franke.
"This government policy punishing New Yorkers for engaging in political speech degrades our state's values and traditions and violates the Constitution," the New York Civil Liberties Union said in a Facebook post Monday.