July 13, 2020 — Jefferson, Missouri
AJC commends Missouri Governor Mike Parson, for signing anti-BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) bill into law.
The new law prohibits the state of Missouri and its political subdivisions, from entering into contracts worth over $100,000 with companies with 10 or more employees that engage in the boycott of, divestment from, and sanctions of Israel. The law carefully articulates Missouri’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, nor penalize companies that choose not to do business with Israel for legitimate economic reasons. The Anti-Discriminiation Against Israel Act 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.
“This law is about trade not politics, and it has the potential to create jobs and economic growth for Missourians, Palestinians and Israelis,” said American Jewish Committee (AJC) St. Louis Director Nancy Lisker. “We are grateful for the leadership of Governor Parson and for the dogged determination of its lead sponsors, Senator Dr. Bob Onder and Representative Holly Rehder, for championing this important legislation.”
Missouri becomes the 30th state in the nation to take concrete action against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which seeks to delegitimize and demonize Israel. Other states that have adopted similar measures include Alabama, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland,, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.