Michigan is the most recent state to introduce a bill against boycotting Israel, marking the latest step in the fight against BDS on the US state level.
Michigan has passed legislation aimed at combating the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement.
The bipartisan legislation, HB 5821 and 5822, was passed by both the House and Senate in December and signed by Governor Rick Synder on Tuesday. The bill prohibits Michigan from contracting with businesses that boycott a strategic partner of the United States.
State agencies “may not enter into a contract with a person to acquire or dispose of supplies, services, or information technology unless the contract includes a representation that the person is not currently engaged in, and an agreement that the person will not engage in, the boycott of a person based in or doing business with a strategic partner,” the bill states.
Such bills protect the state’s economy from efforts to restrict trade with Israel, a goal of the BDS movement. The move by Michigan was praised by pro-Israel organizations.
“These bills protect Michigan’s citizens from the devastating economic impact that would result from a boycott of Israel. This legislation is good for the future prosperity of the state, the nation and Israel,” said Peggy Shapiro, midwest director of StandWithUs, a pro-Israel educational and advocacy organization.
Josh Block, CEO of The Israel Project, said that the bill’s passage ensures “that holding Israel to a double standard would not be tolerated.”
“I’d like to extend my thanks to Michigan for standing beside Israel and refusing to look the other way in the face of prejudice,” Block stated.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed an executive order banning state agencies from investing in companies that support boycotts on Israel.
More than 20 states are considering, or have passed, legislation targeting companies that comply with the anti-Israel BDS movement, and many countries around the world have introduced and passed similar laws.
The BDS movement promotes financial, academic and cultural boycotts against Israel, ostensibly as a nonviolent struggle against the so-called “Israeli occupation.” Critics say its activities are a modern form of anti-Semitism and that its true objective is to destroy the State of Israel.
By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff