The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has been pushing politicians to block the international boycott against Israel, BDS , over Israel’s massive human rights abuses. Two more states have just passed legislation against BDS – Idaho & West Virginia – even though boycotting has long been considered a right for all Americans and is protected by the First Amendment… 33 states have passed the legislation… The government of Israel has been leading the effort against BDS; in 2017 it approved $72 million to combat the human rights campaign…
By Gabe Friedman, reposted from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
Idaho and West Virginia have joined the growing list of states that over the past several years have passed anti-Israel boycott legislation aimed at outlawing businesses that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
The bills passed this week bring the number of states with similar laws to 33.
Idaho’s Anti-Boycott Against Israel Act states that public entities cannot do business over a total of $100,000 with companies that do not expressly oppose the BDS movement. West Virginia’s bill stipulates the same.
“The State of West Virginia has an economic and a humanitarian obligation to denounce and reject the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement against Israel, and to prevent the state or any of its instrumentalities from contracting with companies that engage in the movement,” the measure reads.
Since 2015, anti-BDS laws have gained momentum, but also hit bumps along the way in the form of high-profile critics who argue the legislation hampers free speech. In 2019, the U.S. Senate, then controlled by the Republican Party, passed a bill by a vote of 77-23 that gave states legal cover to continue to introduce anti-BDS legislation.