February 16, 2021 — Atlanta, Georgia
American Jewish Committee (AJC) supports GA House Bill 383, which updates the existing law restricting the state of Georgia from contracting with companies boycotting Israel.
The bill will prohibit the State of Georgia and its political subdivisions from entering into contracts worth over $100,000 with companies with 5 or more employees that engage in the boycott of, divestment from, and sanctions of Israel where the participation in the boycott affects or might affect the goods or services available to the state. HB 383 carefully articulates Georgia’s public policy against discrimination in public contracting. The legislation exercises the state’s freedom to choose the companies with which it will contract. It does not penalize or infringe on any individual’s right to free expression or penalize companies that choose not to do business with Israel for legitimate economic reasons.
HB 383 is consistent with federal law. The U.S. government has emphatically rejected boycotts based on national origin and interferences with foreign trade policy in general. Congress has legislated against boycotts of strategic allies for four decades.
“The legislature has taken bold action to combat the insidious and hateful BDS movement that singles out Israel and encourages punitive actions against its economy and citizens,” said Dov Wilker, Director of AJC Atlanta. “Israelis and Palestinians want peace, they want investment not divestment, and they want for the whole region to prosper. Through this legislation both Georgia’s and Israel’s economies will continue to grow.”
Wilker continued, “Thank you to Reps. John Carson, Chuck Efstration, Sharon Cooper, Matt Dollar and Mike Wilensky for shepherding this important bill.”
AJC Atlanta looks forward to the bill’s passage in the House and then the Senate.