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January 11, 2017 11:15 am

Michigan Latest US State to Pass Anti-BDS Legislation

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A BDS protest. Photo: Takver via Wikimedia Commons.

A BDS protest. Photo: Takver via Wikimedia Commons. – Michigan has become the latest state to pass legislation aimed at combatting the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The bipartisan legislation prohibiting Michigan from contracting with businesses that boycott a “strategic partner” was passed last month by both the state house and senate, and signed Tuesday by Governor Rick Synder. The bill intends to protect the state’s economy from efforts to restrict trade with Israel, a central goal of the BDS movement.

According to the bill, 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” boycotts of allies.

The move by Michigan lawmakers was praised by pro-Israel organizations.

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Peggy Shapiro, midwest director of the educational and advocacy organization StandWithUs, said the bill defends against 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.”

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

“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 added.

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