Backlash in New Orleans over a human rights resolution

A seemingly innocuous human rights resolution adopted by New Orleans’ City Council drew harsh criticism Friday from observers who said it played into the hands of anti-Israel extremists.

Four of the seven council members issued a statement late Friday defending the resolution. But Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued a Friday night statement condemning the measure as Ill-advised.

The resolution adopted Thursday toward the end of an hourslong regular council meeting that “encourages the creation of a process” to review any city investments or contracts involving businesses whose violate human and civil rights. The council later noted in a news release summarizing its Thursday meeting that the resolution was adopted “in accordance with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement, also known as BDS.”

The resolution doesn’t have the force of law and it makes no mention of a specific corporation, country or issue. But the BDS movement is widely viewed as being aimed at Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

Landrieu said his administration had no knowledge of the resolution prior to the vote. “This resolution was ill advised, gratuitous and does not reflect the policy of the City of New Orleans,” the Democratic mayor said in a Friday night news release.

Council members, all Democrats, approved the measure 5-0. Two members were absent…

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