2016 has state legislatures taking a firm stand against the Boycotts, Disinvestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. This summer alone, the Brandeis Center reported that California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York all enacted various laws establishing themselves against this invidious form of discrimination.
Now, less than a month after California Governor Jerry Brown signed his state’s anti-BDS legislation, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf will have the opportunity to do the same. Pennsylvania Bill HB 2107 which states that “Israel is America’s dependable, democratic ally in the Middle East, an area of paramount strategic importance to the United States” commercial activities and to discourage policies that disregard that interest” passed the Pennsylvania State Senate this past week 47-1 after passing unanimously in the House
The bill, when signed into law will ensure that companies contracted by Pennsylvania would be barred from becoming involved in any form of boycott — defined as efforts “to blacklist, divest from or otherwise refuse to deal with a person or firm when the action is based on race, color, religion, gender or national affiliation or origin of the targeted person or entity” – specifically in relation to Israeli companies or individuals.