Nevada State Senate (Courtesy) (Courtesy)
Nevada State senate

Nevada is on its way to becoming the 20th state to pass an anti-BDS law, marking the latest victory in the fight against boycotting Israel on the US state level.

The Nevada House on Wednesday unanimously passed a new resolution seeking to counter the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, with 39 voting in favor.

Senate Bill 26, introduced by Nevada Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchinson, seeks to counter the discriminatory environment fostered by the BDS movement, according to the Israeli-American Coalition for Action (IAC for Action), which is promoting the measure.

Nevada’s anti-BDS resolution will be similar to others passed by some 19 US states in recent years and calls for the state of Nevada to prohibit public purchasing or investments with companies or entities that boycott, divest, or sanction Israel. The legislation does not restrict an individual or entity’s right to abstain from doing business for legitimate business reasons.

“Passing anti-BDS legislation will reinforce Nevada’s strong support for Israel, one of the United States’ strongest allies. Companies who decide to boycott Israel are free to do so, but Nevada is likewise free to choose the companies in which it will invest and with whom it will do business. These decisions are critical in defining and pursuing Nevada’s own economic interests and public policy,” Hutchinson said in December upon introducing the bill.

The bill was passed on to Governor Brian Sandoval for his signature.

The governors of all 50 US states have signed a declaration condemning the BDS movement as antithetical to American values.

“We have a unique opportunity to send a powerful message that the hateful and discriminatory environment fostered by BDS has no place in Nevada,” said IAC for Action Chairman Shawn Evenhaim.

Since 2003, Israeli firms have invested $1.7 billion and created over 6,500 jobs in Nevada

Montana, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, South Carolina, PennsylvaniaNew JerseyRhode Island Michigan and Texas have all passed bills fighting BDS.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed an executive order banning state agencies from investing in companies that support boycotts on Israel.

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: Max Gelber, United with Israel