Last week, the Texas House of Representatives unanimously voted in favor of H.B. 89, an anti-BDS and boycott bill that seeks to deny “state contracts and investments in companies that boycott Israel.” This comes on the heels of the passage of a similar bill in the Texas senate on March 23rd. This legislation will now head to the desk of the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, and is expected to be signed into law. Governor Abbott is decidedly against anti-Israel boycotts, writing in 2016 that “”…In the face of the virulent movement to promote anti-Israel boycotts both in this country and around the globe, we strongly condemn the BDS movement as incompatible with the values of our states and our country.”
Numerous other states have passed anti-BDS bills and laws, including Georgia, Alabama, New York, and Michigan. Most recently, the Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill that will penalize companies waging what one lawmaker calls “economic attack” on Israel. The bill, H.B. 2409, passed the Kansas house 116 to 9, and is expected to pass the Kansas Senate with similar results. The North Carolina House of Representatives also recently voted to adopt H.B. 161, a bill aimed at blocking business dealings between the state of North Carolina and those who support boycotts of Israel. Maryland legislators are currently in the process of drafting their own anti-BDS bill, as well.
In addition to anti-BDS legislation, the federal government and several state governments have been attempting to address anti-Semitism through Anti-Semitism Awareness legislation. The large support for both state level anti-BDS legislation and potential Anti-Semitism Awareness legislation at the federal level, shows the tremendous effort on the part of legislators across the country to combat both the growing trend of anti-Semitism and those championing it.