President Obama will be signing the legislation. However, the White House issued a statement hours after the bills passage stating “[W]e do not support, including a provision that contravenes longstanding U.S. policy towards Israel and the occupied territories, including with regard to Israeli settlement activity.” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement:
We are pleased the Senate passed the bipartisan Customs conference report because it will provide additional tools to help crack down on unfair competition by trading partners and foreign companies that put our workers and businesses at a disadvantage. As with any bipartisan compromise legislation, there are provisions in this bill that we do not support, including a provision that contravenes longstanding U.S. policy towards Israel and the occupied territories, including with regard to Israeli settlement activity.
The legislation references “any territory controlled by Israel” or “Israeli-controlled territories” seven separate times, making it the first U.S. legislation effectively defining Israel as including occupied Palestine, essentially recognizing the territory of Palestine and Israel as one entity.
The Times of Israel reports AIPAC’s affirmation of the legislation : Obama to reluctantly sign trade bill that lumps together Israel and settlements:
“The provision puts the US firmly on record opposing BDS and supporting enhanced commercial ties between the United States and Israel,” AIPAC said in a statement Thursday. “This measure builds on the important work of Congress … passing into law firm anti-BDS negotiating objectives for American trade negotiators.”
Within 180 days after the bill becomes the law, the US administration will be required to report to the Congress on global BDS activities, including the participation of foreign companies in political boycotts of the Jewish State. It also includes a number of legal protections for American companies that operate in Israel.
While the Obama administration has long expressed adamant opposition to BDS tactics targeting Israel, there are several references in the legislation to “Israeli-controlled territories” or “any territory controlled by Israel” as being applicable to the terms of the bill.
Relevant provisions included in the legisla