Yet another US state has rightfully joined the chorus of voices calling to ensure that companies employed by the state are not involved in boycotts against Israel.
Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf on Friday signed into law a bill passed by the state’s Senate deeming it illegal for a company contracted by the state to be involved in a boycott on the Jewish State.
The bill, an Act amending Title 62 (Procurement) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, passed by a vote of 47 to 1, and now has become law with the signature of Governor Wolf.
Pennsylvania is the 14th state to pass legislation combating the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement.
The bill asserts that “Israel is America’s dependable, democratic ally in the Middle East, an area of paramount strategic importance to the United States” and that “it is in the interest of the United States and the Commonwealth to stand with Israel and other countries by promoting trade and commercial activities and to discourage policies that disregard that interest.”
“We must make clear that we are in favor of a peaceful, negotiated solution to this conflict,” Governor Wolf stated. Pennsylvania “will not encourage economic punishment in place of peaceful solutions to challenging conflicts.”
A company contracted by Pennsylvania is not permitted to be involved in a boycott—defined in the bill as “to blacklist, divest from or otherwise refuse to deal with a person or firm when the action is based on race, color, religion, gender or national affiliation or origin of the targeted person or entity.”
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 its true objective is to destroy the State of Israel.