Leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on Monday commended Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan for signing executive orders prohibiting discriminatory boycotts of Israel in their respective states’ contracts.
Walker on Friday signed an executive order that prohibits state agencies from entering into contracts with companies that boycott Israel. Wisconsin exports over $80 million annually to Israel and imports over $200 million annually from Israel.
Hogan signed a similar executive order last Monday. 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.
With these executive orders, noted the Conference of Presidents in a statement, 24 states have now clearly rejected the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign and reinforced their strong commitment to fairness in dealing with Israel.
Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO of the Conference of Presidents said, “We commend Gov. Scott and Gov. Hogan for adding their states to the growing list of state and local governments rejecting the hate driven ideology and tactics of the BDS movement which seeks to harm to Israel.”
“These executive orders, and legislation in other states, send a strong, clear and direct message that pressure from the BDS movement to impose a discriminatory economic boycott against Israel is unacceptable. We encourage other states to join and reject the extremist and discriminatory campaign to delegitimize our close ally, Israel. The message must be strong that if you want to join this biased and unjustified boycott, then you cannot do business here,” they added.
Greenberg and Hoenlein urged Congress “to adopt the bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives to update and strengthen existing federal law prohibiting American companies from complying with boycotts of Israel imposed by foreign governments by including boycotts sponsored by international organizations like the United Nations and European Union.”