Joining the fight to stop boycotts of Israel, Louisiana became the latest state to enact an anti-BDS law.
Louisiana’s Governor John Bel Edwards issued an executive order Tuesday prohibiting the state’s agencies from executing contracts with businesses involved in the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement.
The Times-Picayune reported that the order directs the state commissioner of administration, Jay Dardenne, to examine existing contracts with companies to determine if they are currently boycotting Israel or supporting those who do so.
The order also stipulates that in the future, companies seeking to engage in a state contract will be required to sign an agreement certifying that they are not boycotting Israel.
However, the ban will not be applied to companies that have contracts with the state that total less than $100,000 or that have fewer than five employees.
“The state of Louisiana unequivocally rejects the BDS campaign and stands firmly with Israel,” the order reads.
Edwards issued the order on the same night he held a special celebration honoring Israel’s 70th anniversary at the governor’s mansion. The Louisiana House also honored Israel at the opening of a special session on Tuesday, The Times-Picayune reported.
“The United States, and by affiliation Louisiana, have benefited in innumerable ways from our deep friendship with Israel. Any effort to boycott Israel is an affront to this longstanding relationship. I am pleased that Louisiana will join what is now a critical mass of states in supporting our closest ally,” Edwards stated.
Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs, expressed optimism about this significant development in Louisiana.
“We are heartened that Louisiana has taken a strong stand opposing discrimination against Israel,” she stated.
Earlier this year, the city of New Orleans rejected an anti-Semitic resolution after initially adopting it, but now “the state has made clear that tax payer funds should not support businesses which discriminate,” she added.
Anti-BDS Tidal Wave
With this order, Louisiana became the 25th US state to enact official measures condemning BDS or prohibiting government business with entities that boycott Israel.
The governors of all 50 US states have signed a declaration condemning the BDS movement as antithetical to American values.
Montana, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Michigan, Texas, Nevada, Kansas and Wisconsin have all passed bills fighting BDS.
The BDS movement promotes financial, academic and cultural boycotts of Israel, ostensibly as a nonviolent protest 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.