Anti-BDS Bill Just Passed In Texas, Here’s What You Need To Know: In today’s episode we talk with Phil King, a State Representative for Texas and one of the Senior Legislators in Texas, about the Anti-BDS bill that just passed. In this episode, you will learn what the BDS movement is, why we need to be Anti-BDS, and how you can help positively impact Israel.
Air Date: 06/28/2017
Guests: Phil King, David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
You found our way to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about these hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always looking at it from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. We are always taking those three perspectives to find the right position on these issues in our culture.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premiere historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, president of WallBuilders, national speaker, and pastor. And my name’s Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state rep, national speaker, and author.
Find out more about us and the organization at our websites WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com.
Is Israel A Safe Place To Go To
Our special guest later in the program is going to be State Representative Phil King of Texas. We’re going to be talking about the anti-BDS bill that just passed there in Texas. It’s a very strong piece of legislation.
So, David, Tim Barton, tell us about anti-BDS, what does that mean? And what does it have to do with Israel?
Well, it’s an economic attack on Israel and their finances. Israel is very dependent on, really, their economics. That’s a big deal for them. That’s why tourism is so big in Israel. And by the way, I’m in Israel so many times. It’s always a lot of fun because you can hear about bombings and you can hear about terrorism over there. Yeah, but if you heard about a murder every 12 hours in Chicago, or every 12 hours in New York City, if you got that you would be more scared. I feel much more comfortable in Israel than I do anywhere else. But they always make international news-
Which by the way, I think I would feel more comfortable if you had a bunch of armed trained soldiers walking around with fully automatic machine guns on the streets too. I don’t think I’m worried at that point about these bad guys coming and doing bad things on the same level.
Israel is just such a different mentality, they don’t want to play around with bad guys. If you are a bad guy, if you want to do bad things, and they just kill you and they’re done with it.
Whereas in Chicago and these different places it just such a different mentality and so yeah, when you start just doing comparative, when you compare apples and apples then you’re right, some of these places the Chicago’s, the Miami’s, Los Angeles’s, there’s a lot more dangerous places on some of those scales than Israel. We just don’t hear that from the media, it’s not the way we think, it’s not the perception we have, but it’s the reality of the situation.
What Is The Impact Of The BDS Bill
So, Israel is very dependent on economic income through tourism and through other things as well. They have great companies over there, they’ve got a lot of high-tech companies, and they do a lot of high-end type work, really across the world.
It’s amazing what they do with software and what they do even with planes. We’ll take our F-35’s or F-16’s and send them to them and they’re really strapped down because they put their own technology in which is so much superior to ours in so many ways. So they really are high-tech kind of people.
And if you can hit them economically, it really does cripple them. It’s kind of like Texas, when we were just nothing but an oil state and we lost oil in the 1980’s and it just about shut the state down. I mean, we had massive unemployment because we weren’t diversified.
And in some ways, Israel was like that because of the geography where they live. I mean, they live in a desert. Isaiah 35 says that with Israel, “The desert will bloom like a rose.” And it literally does.
The last time I was in Israel I looked at a book from the 1880’s of all the drawings that had been done by what famous people went through in the 1880’s. And there was not a tree growing anywhere. They had all been cut down. It literally was a desert. You go to Israel today and there are trees everywhere, there are orchards everywhere, they do a lot of great stuff.
They are really moving toward a diversified economy but if you can help them economically, you can really hurt them because they are a very small nation. Only 13 million Jews in the entire world and seven million of them live in Israel. Israel as a nation is about the size of New Jersey.
Why We Should Support Israel
So who would want to hit them economically? In America, what people would want to be a part of a movement that’s going to harm Israel?
Let me say it this way, let me answer it this way. If you have a Biblical perspective, you will like Israel. Because God promises all sorts of blessings, you bless them you’re going to get blessed.
And let me correct that, maybe not like Israel, but should support Israel.
There you go.
Because there are times I don’t like my brother but I support my brother, right? I mean, the reality is that yeah, there are some things, whoever is president, whoever is congressman, whoever is senator, there are times I will not like what they do and I will disagree. Individuals can disagree, however, from the perspective of disagreement or liking them to supporting them, you should always be in a position of supporting them if you believe the Bible, if you read the Bible, if you know what the Bible says.
I don’t always like what anybody does, but I will always support my family. The same thing with Israel. We will support Israel because that is the Biblical position.
And for a Christian, that is our family. Paul tells us very clearly in Romans 11 that you’ve got to remember, it’s the Christians that are grafted into the Jewish tree, not the Jews that are grafted into the Christian tree.
The Jews are the roots and for Christians that’s the blessing we get, it comes through them. And so God gives this great promise in Genesis 12 that he’s going to bless those who bless that nation. “Abraham I’m going to make you into a nation, whoever blesses I’ll bless, whoever curses I’ll curse.”
Why Are People Going After Israel
So what happens is you start looking at who’s going after Israel. And number one, it could be because of a hostile faith, such as Islam. It could be because of progressives who tend to dislike anything that’s Biblical, whether it’s Christian or Jewish. Now, they tend to love Reform Judaism because that’s pretty liberal. You can be a Reform Judaism and be an atheist. Which seems kind of oxymoronic that you attend a synagogue as an atheist. But Reform Judaism is that way but they don’t like Orthodox Jews because they are Biblical folks.
And so you’re going to find that really what happens is that anybody who has been taught in a secular worldview or an anti-Biblical worldview- Oh that brings us to universities- Oh guess what, that brings us to a lot of businesses that are very secular- that brings us to Progressive’s- that brings us to post-modernists. There’s a lot of groups. And so, anything that represents Biblical just like they will go crazy if they see a cross in a city seal, they’re going to do the same thing when they see something about Israel.
And so, as a result, they go after them and they want to harm Israel economically and harming Israel economically is their objective.
The Anti-BDS Bill
We are now having a number of states in the United States saying, “Well, you can try that, but it may have a penalty for you business wise. This is a free market nation. And if you want to go to harm Israel economically we’re just not going to do business with you as a state in the United States.”
Most recently is Texas, our good friend Representative Phil King, now one of the senior legislators in Texas just got through a bill here in Texas that says, “If you try to harm Israel economically, if you try to do this BDS-” Which means boycott, divestiture, and sanction.
In other words, boycott Israel. Don’t buy anything that they produce. Divest yourself of any investments or any companies that you do have stock in to do business in Israel, get out of that. Then sanction Israel, look for a way to punish them. That is BDS.
The state of Texas along with a number of other states the United States say, “If you’re going to do that, we’re not doing business with you. That’s fine if you want to but you can count us out.”And in the case of Texas, that is a huge economic cost if the business wants to do BDS.
Representative Phil King with us when we return. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live!
Moment From American History
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. The Reverend James Caldwell was a famous minister during the American War for Independence. His sermons taught liberty and God’s opposition to tyranny.
The British hated him and tried to kill him. So for his own protection, he would actually take loaded pistols with him into the pulpit and lay them beside his Bible as he preached. In the 1780 Battle of Springfield, the Americans ran out of wadding for their guns which was like having no ammunition.
Pastor Caldwell ran inside a nearby church and returned with an armload of watts hymnals, the pages of which would provide the much needed wadding. He took this great Bible based hymnal, raised in the air, and shouted to the troops,”Now put to watts into them Boys!” This pastor’s ingenuity saved the day for the Americans.
For more information or Pastor James Caldwell and other colonial patrons go to WallBuilders.com
What Leaders In Israel Are Saying
Welcome back, thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live! Our good friend State Representative Phil King from the great state of Texas with us once again. Phil, thanks for coming back.
It’s good to talk to you, Rick.
Hey man, y’all had a great session, you got a special coming up, but really great victory on the anti-BBC law. So happy this went through. I know you’ve been you’ve been working on this a lot. Tell us about what you’re trying to stop and just a little bit about how the victory came about.
Well, first let’s say that it is truly a team effort. But what’s going on is there’s an international movement to have economic warfare against the nation of Israel. It’s in nations, states, it’s in America, it’s the college campuses, and it’s in private business. And the effort is to try to tell people to boycott doing business with Israel. You’ll have companies that are out there that have just refused to do any business with Israel.
So for example, they’re such a small country by the way, that with so few natural resources they have to be able to be aggressively involved in commerce worldwide.
So if these people are successful it does have a very negative impact on Israel?
Leaders in Israel will tell you that the BDS movement is as big a threat to them as nuclear warfare. In fact, actually, that’s what’s happened is their hostile neighbors have realized they cannot defeat them on the battlefield. And so now they are trying in the economic world.
And Phil, you were there, I guess, last fall and had a chance to meet with a lot of these leaders, so you know this firsthand.
You bet. And I’m telling you, everywhere you go it is a top issue. And it’s a top issue with the Jewish community in the United States. I’ve never done a piece of legislation in 19 years where so many people came up out of the woodwork and said, “In Texas, and across the United States, and across the world, how do we help on this?”
What The Anti-BDS Bill Does
Let me tell you what, it does it’s really cool- And by the way, Texas, I think there’s like 14 states that have passed some form of anti-BDS. That stands for boycott, divestment, and sanction. They have passed some form of legislation. But Texas is by far the strongest and we hope it will become a model for the nation.
Here’s what it does, two simple things. One it says that no government entity in Texas, no school district, no hospital district, no city, no county state, and no government entity can do any business with any company that boycotts Israel.
So if ABC Paper Company has been selling paper to Weatherford school district then Weatherford school district can no longer buy their paper. When you’ve got a state whose economy is the 12th largest in the world, in GDP, and you take all government expenditures away from the marketplace of BDS, that is a big impact.
You’re talking billions of dollars.
You’re talking over a trillion, there’s no question about it. In addition to that, we say that- Texas, we have a large pension fund for state employees and others and it invests about $250 billion dollars, billion with a B, every year in stocks, and bonds, and securities, to fund that pension plan.
We’ve also said that no investment from those plans can be made with any company that boycotts Israel. So what we’ve done is we’ve taken about $250 billion out of the securities market and said, “These monies cannot be used to buy stock etc. in any company that boycotts Israel.” That again, is a huge statement. Because $250 billion dollars is a lot of money.
Those two things together we believe not only make a huge statement as to our relationship in Texas with Israel, and it is a long historic relationship, but it also has a direct financial impact on those companies and countries that are boycotting.
Getting The Anti-BDS Bill Passed
This is a huge victory and Phil one of the things I love about this is it’s offensive. It’s fighting economic warfare with economic warfare. And for you guys to do this and to win this battle and you put a lot of time and effort into this, I know just from our personal conversations, and had to build some coalitions and get people to really pay attention to this. Because initially people thought, “Oh, this is no big deal. None of this is actually hurting Israel.” So it took a while to get this thing through.
Yeah, we’ve been working on it for about a year and a half. But it really grew. And I’ll tell you what, it ended up not being a Republican versus Democrat issue or a conservative versus liberal issue, it became as people learned about it, and as I learned about it, it was very clear it was a light and dark. It was a good and evil issue.
So when it finally passed out we passed out with strong Democratic support as well. In fact, when we left the House we did have some abstentions but we had zero “no” votes and the Senate. I believe was almost unanimous on the floor.
Pass This In Your State
That’s big, that does not happen very often. As you know representative, we have a lot of legislators that listen to our program. So if some of those from around the country or even constituents and citizens that are listening that have been looking for a good cause to get behind they can take this to their legislator. But any of those folks that are looking for a way to do this in their state, I’m assuming they could contact your office and get model legislation.
Contact us or go online to the Texas House website, go to my website. We’ll get it to anybody any way. But I’ll tell you what, it is a huge thing. And what’s so sad about it is they say, “Oh, we’re doing this to defend the Palestinians in the West Bank.” Let me tell you, I’ve visited with Palestinians in the West Bank who are working in companies- One company so extreme that simply had to close down and it was one of the best employers in the West Bank. And the West Bank is where the greatest need is, the largest in poverty.
So an economic hit on the region hurts them as bad as anybody.
It hurts them more than anyone else. That’s what is so odd about it. I went into those factories on the West Bank, one in particular and where they make candy. We talked with the workers there and these are the best paying jobs they can get. And if you boycott that business it is going to close down just like SodaStream did and they’re going to be out again without any job that pays well or provides benefits.
Well, it’s a good piece of legislation man. Congratulations on getting it through. Again, would love to see other states do this across the country. So, folks, we’ll have links at our website today to get to Phil King’s web page and also to the Texas bill that actually passed. Representative King, thanks for the good work man, keep up the great work!
Rick, I appreciate you.
Stay with us folks, will be right back with David and Tim Barton.
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The Repercussions Are Similar To Nuclear Warfare
We’re back, thanks for staying with us on WallBuilders Live! Thanks to Representative Phil King for coming on with us as well and sharing a great victory. This could be good news Friday guys. We’ve talked about Anti-BDS on the program quite a bit. This is probably the biggest victory we’ve had yet.
Well, as Phil points out, when you’re talking about a $250 billion dollar fund and you invest that $250 Billion, there’s a lot of companies that would like to have a piece of that pie. But if you’re going to hurt Israel- And I love what Phil said, “This is economic warfare against the nation of Israel.”
So literally we’re boycotting companies who are declaring war against Israel economically. And he said BDS is as big of a threat against Israel as is nuclear warfare. And that’s a huge statement. But you know, Phil’s been there, and we’ve been there and seen it, and he’s exactly right.
The repercussions could be very similar, as far as the consequence of what the people have to endure and live with.
It would devastate that nation.
It would devastate their way of life.
It would devastate their way of life, it would make them unable to defend themselves, as it is now. We’ve talked before about how Israel’s military is not what we’re used to. Because our guys, you know, Tim you’ve got siblings in the military, I’ve got kids in the military. When they go in, the military takes care of everything they need to be able to do the job. Not so in Israel.
When you go in Israel you go when you’re 18 years old. And when it comes wintertime you know what? Israel just cannot afford to give you a coat. Twenty percent of those who live in Israel are in poverty. So it’s not a wealthy nation per se. They’ve got enough money to buy-
Living In Tent Cities
And I would say- by the way, 20 percent living in poverty. Well, arguably we have that in America. Different standards of poverty.
I’ve been in their places that literally they are living in tent cities. and it’s not because they don’t work, unlike America, they will bust their tail. It’s very much like pioneer life. They will walk for a mile to get a bucket of water and bring it back to keep in their house. And so we’ve been in some of those really pioneer areas. It’s tough what they do.
And part of the hardship for the military too is you only have a limited number of funds. So you have to determine what’s the most significant thing for us to spend this money on and they choose to spend it on things like their rocket defense, their missile defense system. Which is ultimately going to keep more people alive than buying coats for all the military.
And so you’re right, it’s such a different perspective. Even with that being said, having brothers in the military, there are some deficiencies even in the U.S. military of what they ought to be getting. They don’t have sometimes bullets to go and do shooting down range to practice. They don’t have gas for their vehicles.
You’re talking about the government prefers to spend money on entitlement programs and welfare programs rather than on defense. And of course, we know that welfare is much more important than national defense is.
By priority of where we spend money. And so Israel chooses to say, “We’re going to protect the nation as a whole. We’re going to have this rocket defense system, the Iron Dome, we’re going to spend the money here.
And in America, you’re right. We spend more on welfare, seemingly at least, it seems as if we spend more on welfare than we do the military. If you look at it from the eye knowing what the military doesn’t have, knowing what people on welfare get, it seems very skewed in that perspective.
But, back to this idea of Israel, their military is not outfitted the same way. It’s a difficult position. And for most of the Israeli military, they’re defending their backyard whereas for Americans were generally sent to foreign soil. We’re not defending our backyard and so it’s such a different level on so many issues when it comes to Israel from our understanding, from the American culture.
I’ve got a friend in Israel who is one of the commanders in the military and he shows me his hiking map from his house and on his hiking map our three nations filled with terrorists looking to blow him up. I mean, you can hike to three nations that want to kill you. That’s just amazing. We don’t think like that.
So Phil is right. And by the way, he made a comment, he said, “When you’re talking about the world’s 12th largest economy.” He was not talking about Israel. He was talking about Texas. Texas is one of the 50 states, but Texas by itself is the world’s 12th largest economy. That’s amazing. If you take Texas out of the United States I wonder what the American economy would be, it would be in trouble probably. But nonetheless.
And actually, the Texas economy might grow more, which is an interesting thought.
So it is the kind of thing where that when you take an economy that size as Texas has and you start taking a stand for Israel then that’s going to be a lot of free market businesses that would like to have a piece of Texas’s money pie and they’re not going to get it. So that’s the good news about what Phil’s done. And I hope he’s right. I hope this becomes a prototype for other states and what they do.
Quick break. We’ll be right back, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live!
Bring A Speaker To Your Area
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Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.
What Can The Average Person Do
Welcome back, thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Back with David and Tim. My thoughts when going to break was, “Ok, what about the average Joe Christian supporter of Israel that’s hearing this and realizing the economic attacks on Israel and thinking, ‘Ok, I’m not a legislator. What can they do to help with this?”
There’s a lot they can do. One of the things they can do is get online and see all the companies that help Israel. McDonald’s, there’s a company that puts money into Israel. Great, let’s go to McDonald’s and let’s get something at McDonald’s-
Yeah, I prefer, not to be insulting. But I’m looking for something a little healthier. So, fortunately, there’s other options. But yeah, we can look in and see who supports Israel. We can make sure that-
One of the things that the Bible says is that you pray for the peace of Jerusalem, so we pray for Israel. There are some very tangible things we can do. Obviously, we have listeners in multiple states. So Phil says, “Here’s what we’ve done in Texas.” It would be great if other states had this so maybe whatever state you’re listening from contact your state elected official and say, “Hey, we want you to check out what Texas just did.”
And by the way, notice it was unanimous in the House? There was not a single “no” vote. There were some who abstained. But Texas for all the Democrats to join with all the Republicans and no “no” votes, nearly unanimous. So you’re not talking a partisan issue here. This is one that your state can pick up and get behind. And that’s a good thing to do as well.
Another thing, I encourage every Christian citizen that you need to make two pilgrimages in your life. One is to the birthplace of American liberty. You need to go to the East Coast, Washington D.C., and Boston, and Philadelphia, you need to make a trip and see those historical sites.
But you also need to make a trip to see the birthplace of your faith. You need to make a trip to Israel. And it’s worth the trip. I’ve got to say that for years I didn’t want to go. I thought, “I love America. God’s called me in America. I’m going to stay here.” But once I’ve been there, “Oh my gosh, did it change the depth of what I knew and believed as a Christian.” And it is an epiphany type of the time and so if he can do something to get there, save your money, there’s some good tours they go that aren’t expensive.
I wanted to mention, Cliff Graham and Good Battle Tours. That’s the one we’re taking a whole bunch of Patriot Academy students on in November. And it’s for kind of the same reason, getting these young people of the next generation to see firsthand both help Israel by being there and doing the tour but also see firsthand what they’re up against.
And there are so many groups that go in and work. You mentioned Cliff, but CUFI does these trips, ChristiansUnited for Israel. Almost every Christian leader in America- I mean, they take a trip over so you can find a leader, you can find people that are going. You definitely get on one of these trips. And you’re right, you’ve got to save your money.
A lot of churches do their own.
They sure do. Cheap is relative, you can find cheaper trips there. They’re not cheap, but they’re cheaper than others. But this is something certainly worth taking the time, taking the effort, saving the money, and going and visiting Israel.
Thanks for listening today, folks. Thanks to Representative Phil King for joining us. We appreciate you listening to WallBuilders Live!