On October 24th, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed an anti-BDS bill, Executive Order 01.01.2017.25, into law. The Executive Order prohibits all executive branch agencies from entering into “contracts or conducting official state business with any entity unless they certify that they will not engage in a boycott of Israel during the duration of the contract.” Governor Hogan stated that, “Israel is a robust democracy with many rights and freedoms that don’t exist in neighboring countries, or across much of the world. The shameful BDS [boycott, divestment, and sanctions] movement seeks to undercut those rights and freedoms, using economic discrimination and fear.”
Governor Hogan has emphasized the long history of cooperation and trade between Maryland and Israel, something demonstrated by his leading a delegation of state officials, business leaders, and Jewish community leaders on a cultural and economic development trade mission to the country in 2016. Also last year, the Hogan administration sent a letter to American Jewish Committee (AJC) reaffirming its support for Israel against the proponents of the BDS movement. Earlier this year, Governor Hogan joined governors from all 50 U.S. states in signing a pledge organized by the AJC in rejecting BDS, titled “Governor’s United Against BDS.”
This action puts Maryland with the 22 other states that have adopted anti-BDS bills or resolutions. Recently, North Carolina, Kansas, and Nevada passed their own anti-BDS legislation. The number of states that have passed anti-BDS legislation is rapidly approaching the halfway mark. States with large and active BDS campaigns, particularly on their college campuses, are facing active pressures against this new form of anti-Semitism. Universities and academic associations, such as the American Studies Association, have been put on the defensive through litigation and legal advocacy against BDS. BDS, along with the anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism it spreads, is being combatted on many stages in the United States. Soon, there will be no home for the anti-intellectual, anti-factual, hate-filled BDS movement in America.