The latest of states to pass legislation against the anti-Israel BDS movement, Utah is now among a league of 32 states which have adopted laws, executive orders, and/or resolutions designed to discourage boycotts against Israel.

As it stands, the Anti-Boycott Israel Amendments prohibits a government entity from contracting with a person that boycotts the State of Israel, and Utah has now become the latest American state to have passed this very legislation. Anti-BDS laws and resolutions are laws and resolutions to oppose boycotts of Israel. The name comes from the BDS movement, which calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel to pressure Israel to meet what it describes as Israel’s obligations under international law.

Source: Cleveland Jewish News

The bill sponsored by Utah State Sen. Daniel Hemmert and State Rep. Joel Ferry was also welcomed by Christians United for Israel (CUFI), which supported the measure. “I believe the passage of S.B. 186 is essential to demonstrate Utah’s continued support of Israel’s rights as a nation to engage in free trade without the unwarranted attempts to do damage to its economy. Israel is the U.S.’s best friend in the region and we should stand with her as opportunities allow,” said CUFI Utah state director Craig McCune, senior pastor at New Creation Church in the city of Sandy.

To date, 32 states have adopted laws, executive orders or resolutions that are designed to discourage boycotts against Israel. Separately, the U.S. Congress is considering anti-boycott legislation as well in reaction to the BDS movement. The Senate passed S.1 which contains anti-boycott provisions on January 28, 2019, by a vote of 74-19. The House passed a resolution condemning the boycott of Israel on July 24, 2019, by a vote of 398-17. States are listed below by the date they adopted anti-BDS measures.

Source: The NY Times

The very first of the States to have passed the legislation in America was Tennesse, wherein the General Assembly formally condemned the BDS movement in a 123-1 vote with the passing of SJR-170, becoming the first state in the country to do so. Although the legislation does not order Tennessee public institutions to divest from entities involved in the BDS movement, it refers to BDS as, “one of the main vehicles for spreading anti-Semitism and advocating the elimination of the Jewish state.” The legislation also stated that BDS is, “deeply damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy and human rights for all the peoples in the Middle East.”

New York did the same in 2016, as an anti-BDS resolution was passed with a near-unanimous vote in the New York State Assembly on June 22, 2015. The resolution denounced the BDS movement, stating, “this legislative body is concerned that the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and its agenda are damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all peoples in the Middle East.” The legislation reiterated the close ties that New York shares with the Jewish state as well.

 

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Rhea Sovani

Author Rhea Sovani

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