The Town of North Hempstead, New York recently passed anti-boycott legislation, unanimously. The town will no longer contract with entities which boycott Israel or the territories it administers.
The legislation adds an amendment to Chapter 24 – “Governmental Operations” – of the Code of the Town of North Hempstead by establishing Article IX – “Contract Restrictions” – in order to prohibit the Town from contracting with companies that participate in the movement to boycott, divest from investing in and sanction Israel. This amendment made the protection of civil rights in the town a priority. It states that “The town is a leader in protecting civil rights and preventing discrimination on the basis of religion, race, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and disability.” It further lists that “Both freedom of speech and religion are cornerstones of law and public policy in the United States, and the Town strongly supports and affirms these important freedoms.” It also included important language regarding discrimination, saying that, “The Town must take action to avoid supporting or financing unlawful discrimination.”.
The Town of North Hempstead joins the growing list of municipalities and states combatting the boycott of Israel through legislation. At least 20 states have passed anti-BDS, most recently Texas and Arkansas.