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January 14, 2020 5:12 pm

South Dakota Governor Signs Anti-BDS Executive Order

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South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signs an anti-BDS executive order, Jan. 14, 2020. Photo: Israel in Chicago Facebook page.

A top American Jewish advocacy group effusively praised South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem on Tuesday after she signed legislation that made her state the 28th in the country to take legal measures against boycotts of Israel.

Noem’s executive order requires vendors “seeking contracts with state agencies, authorities, commissions, departments, or institutions of the State of South Dakota to not engage with companies that participate in boycotts of Israel.”

The order applies to companies or contractors with more than five employees who enter into a contract with South Dakota that involves the expenditure of $100,000 or more.

“Israel is one of our nation’s closest allies, and their success is critical to American national security,” Noem said in a statement. “Today, we reaffirm that South Dakota stands with Israel and will only contract with businesses who agree to fairly compete. Our state will not stand for any discrimination based on race or religion.”

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The American Jewish Committee (AJC) thanked Noem — a vocal supporter of Israel who visited the Jewish state during her time as a US congresswoman — for her action.

“Governor Noem has taken bold action to combat the insidious BDS movement that encourages punitive actions solely against Israel,” said Laurence Bolotin, director of the AJC Chicago Region, which covers South Dakota. “BDS proponents do not advance peace at all. Peace only will be achieved in direct bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”

Other states that have passed similar measures include Alabama, California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas, among others.

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