Tuesday, January 21, 2020

(JNS.org) Michigan has become the latest state to pass legislation aimed at combating the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The bipartisan legislation, HB 5821 and 5822, was passed by both the House and Senate in December and signed by Gov. Rick Snyder Tuesday. The bill prohibits Michigan from contracting with businesses that boycott a strategic partner of the United States.

State agencies “may not enter into a contract with a person to acquire or dispose of supplies, services or information technology unless the contract includes a representation that the person is not currently engaged in, and an agreement that the person will not engage in the boycott of a person based in or doing business with a strategic partner,” the bill stated.

These bills protect the state’s economy from efforts to restrict trade with Israel, a goal of the BDS movement. The move by Michigan was praised by pro-Israel organizations.

“These bills protect Michigan’s citizens from the devastating economic impact that would result from a boycott of Israel. This legislation is good for the future prosperity of the state, the nation and Israel,” said Peggy Shapiro, midwest director of StandWithUs, a pro-Israel educational and advocacy organization.

Josh Block, CEO of the Israel Project, said that Michigan’s passage of the bill ensures “that holding Israel to a double standard would not be tolerated.”

“I’d like to extend my thanks to Michigan for standing beside Israel and refusing to look the other way in the face of prejudice,” Block said.

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