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November 16, 2018 12:09 pm

Kentucky Becomes 26th State to Enact Anti-BDS Measure

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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin. Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

JNS.org – Kentucky became the 26th state on Thursday to enact an anti-BDS measure, prohibiting awarding state contractors who partake in the anti-Israel movement.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed the executive order during a ceremony at the state’s capitol with Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer and Consul General of Israel to the Southeast United States Judith Varnai Shorer.

“The State of Israel is an important friend and trading partner to the Commonwealth,” said Bevin. “We will not allow state resources to benefit entities that intentionally engage in discriminatory practices to harm the sovereignty and economic prosperity of any ally nation. Today’s executive order makes it clear that Kentucky condemns the BDS movement and that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our friend, Israel.”

Jewish and pro-Israel groups applauded the move.

Matthew Goldberg, director of community relations for the Jewish Federation of Louisville, remarked: “Boycotting Israel is immoral, as it specifically targets the only democracy in the Middle East, a staunch ally of the United States for decades. Everyone in the Commonwealth of Kentucky should be proud that we are now on record as officially opposing the demonization of Israel.”

“BDS is economic terrorism. It is a movement intended to do with boycotts, divestments and sanctions what terrorists seek to do with bombs, missiles and bullets: destroy Israel. But just like all antisemites who’ve come before them, the BDS movement will fail,” said CUFI Founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee.

“Kentucky’s action today means that more than half the country has enacted legislation or policies targeting the antisemitic effort to boycott, divest from or sanction Israel. We look forward to advancing similar policies across the country and will not stop until the door is shut to BDS in every state in the union,” said CUFI Action Fund Chairwoman Sandra Parker.

StandWithUs followed Goldberg and CUFI’s applause.

“In this executive order, Kentucky follows 25 other states in protecting its citizens from becoming de facto participants in discrimination and antisemitism,” said StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein. “We commend his leadership at a time when we see antisemitism rising.”

Supporters of the BDS movement champion the tactic as a nonviolent way to support the Palestinian cause.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include mention of the BDS movement’s view of anti-Israel boycotts. 

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