Larry Hogan
Larry HoganReuters

Maryland governor Larry Hogan signed an executive order on Monday barring the state from doing business with companies that boycott Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, Haaretz reported.

Hogan had previously attempted to pass such a policy through the state's legislator, but it had fallen short without even coming up for a vote, the report said.

In a press conference, Hogan said that the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement uses "economic discrimination" against Israel. As a result of his order, contracts signed by the state of Maryland will include language that would make it clear that the company participating in the contract does not engage in boycotts against Israel. Maryland's state pension funds will also divest from such companies, he added.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington expressed support for Hogan's order, calling it "one more sign that he is a true friend to Israel and the Jewish community."

Over the last few years, several U.S. states have advanced legislation against BDS.

New York, California, New Jersey, Arizona, Indiana, Florida, Tennessee, Michigan, Montana and Virginia are among the states that have approved similar laws.

Last December, Nevada introduced a law against the anti-Israel movement, after Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchinson and pro-Israel activists introduced Senate Bill 26, which is similar to the anti-BDS legislation passed in other states.

The same month, the Ohio House of Representatives approved a bill targeting BDS.