By an Act signed into law by Governor Nikki Haley on June 2 and effective immediately, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles is permitted to issue to car owners in South Carolina special license plates. Those special license plates will have the message: “South Carolina Stands With Israel.” The graphic on the plate will have intertwined flags of Israel and South Carolina.
Rep. Alan Clemmons, a passionate supporter of Israel, introduced the legislation into the South Carolina House of Representatives on Dec. 3 of last year. The bill was approved in committee, approved by the full House on April 3, 2014 in a vote 57 to 1. The bill was approved unanimously by the Senate on May 21 and became law on the date it was signed by South Carolina’s governor, on June 2.
Because it is a vanity plate, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles will charge $7 for each plate. However, Rabbi Yossi Refson, leader of the Charleston Chabad announced that the Chabad of Charleston has decided to front the cost.
Even those who don’t live in South Carolina can participate in this expression of support for the Jewish State, by donating money to the Chabad specifically for this project. The address can be found on the shul’s website.
Clemmons first visited Israel in 2011. He visited Judea and Samaria and supports the Jews living there wholeheartedly. At the time he addressed concerns that some Christians support Israel only because they have a secret plan to convert them. When asked about that possibility, Clemmons unequivocally denied any such intention.
“Israel is a special place for all Christians, and Jews have a right to be concerned with Christian persuasion and influence,” he replied.
“When it comes to Israel, abuse and injustice in the name of religion have worked against the Jews for millennia, but if there is any thought of missionary activity – there is none. I am not interested in converting Jews. I am here to support Jews,” Clemmons affirmed in an interview with Israel National News.
Stuart Kaufman, a former New Yorker who recently relocated to South Carolina with his wife was ecstatic to have found such an ardent Zionist in the South Carolina state legislature.
“This is a wonderful accomplishment and I can say without equivocation that I am incredibly proud to be a South Carolinian,” Kaufman wrote in an email about the new legislation.
About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.
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