On Thursday, June 27th, North Carolina’s Governor Roy Cooper signed an anti- Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (“BDS”) bill into law, making North Carolina the 22nd state to enact such a law or resolution. North Carolina joins states like Nevada and Kansas, which recently passed similar measures.
While not all anti-BDS legislation is identical, it all has the same goal of combating the BDS movement. The North Carolina bill calls for divestment from, and bars state agencies from contracting with, companies who have chosen policies to boycott Israel.
The North Carolina bill, entitled “Divestment from Companies That Boycott Israel,” saw a great deal of support throughout the North Carolina state legislature. Before coming to the Governor’s desk, it passed the state House of Representatives by a vote of 96-19 and the state Senate by a vote of 45-3. Such widespread support is telling of North Carolina’s important relationship with Israel, a country that has “long been an important trading partner of North Carolina”, as highlighted by CEO of the Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary, Carin Savel. Israel is indeed essential for trade in the state, affirmed by the astounding $140 million worth of exports and commerce North Carolinian businesses do with Israel every year.