Backers of Israel boycotts protest New York governor's order

ALBANY, N.Y. – Critics of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians are protesting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order prohibiting state investments in any company that support a boycott of Israel.

A group of more than 100 people gathered outside the Democratic governor’s office Wednesday, chanting loudly before attempting to deliver a petition to Cuomo seeking the reversal of his executive order.

Speakers at the rally say the state is violating the constitutionally protected free speech of business owners by treating them differently than others simply because of their political opinions.

Cuomo’s executive order was issued this month. He has said it is intended to support Israel and protect it against the threat of boycott or sanctions.

He says his executive order is the first of its kind anywhere in the country.