Texas Governor Abbott signed into law the Anti-BDS bill, becoming the 18th US state to support such a law.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday signed into law House Bill 89 (HB 89), known as the Anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions) bill, which prohibits all state agencies from contracting with, and certain public funds from investing in, companies that boycott Israel, becoming the 18th US state to support such a law.
Abbott hosted the bill signing at the Jewish Community Center in Austin, as Israel celebrated its Independence Day.
“I am proud to have commemorated Israel’s Independence Day by signing into law Anti-BDS legislation in Texas,” said Abbott.
“As Israel’s number one trading partner in the United States, Texas is proud to reaffirm its support for the people of Israel and we will continue to build on our historic partnership. Anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies, and we will not tolerate such actions against an important ally,” Abbott declared
The bill prohibits the state of Texas from conducting business with companies involved in the BDS movement against Israel. After the bill becomes law, it ensures that certain public funds are not invested in any entities participating in this movement.
Additionally, state contracts will only be given to verified businesses to guarantee that Texas maintains a strong and supportive relationship with Israel.
Texas and Israel have a long history of working together as valuable partners in the areas of agriculture, medicine, technology, defense, water management, cyber-intelligence and many other areas, and Texas-Israel trade now exceeds half a billion dollars per year with numerous trade missions, signed compacts and mutual development projects.
Texas recently signed its first-ever trade agreement with Samaria. The agreement, signed by Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller during a Samaria Regional Council meeting headed by Yossi Dagan, includes an exchange of technologies and expertise in agriculture and water technologies.
National Anti-BDS Tidal Wave
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: Max Gelber, United with Israel