Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on Wednesday signed bills into law relating to BDS and antisemitism during a formal meeting with the Israeli Consul General to the Midwest Yinam Cohen.
HF2373 is an act relating to restrictions regarding companies boycotting Israel and HF2220 is an act relating to antisemitism in the state of Iowa.
"Today we express Iowa’s enduring support for the State of Israel and our categorical rejection of antisemitism,” Reynolds said. “Together, these bills send an important message: Iowa continues to stand shoulder to shoulder with the State of Israel, one of America’s most important and reliable allies, while fighting all forms of religious and ethnic discrimination.”
“We strongly believe that both Iowa and Israel can continue to work together to create lasting partnerships that are beneficial to both states and local economies. Gov. Reynolds has been steadfast in her support for Israel and she has witnessed firsthand Israel’s achievements in innovation, water technology, medicine, and more,” Cohen added.
HF2373 amended Iowa Code Chapter 12J which restricts investment in companies boycotting Israel to include “a wholly owned subsidiary, majority-owned subsidiary, parent company, or affiliate of such business or business entity.”
According to the Des Moines Register, Rep. Carter Nordman (R) said the purpose of the bill is to “ensure that our public investments are not funding companies that participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction of Israel movement.”
The change to Iowa law was considered necessary after Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s announced a boycott of Judea and Samaria in the summer of 2021. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever.
HF2220 codifies the IHRA working definition of antisemitism into Iowa law.
The bills passed the Iowa House and Senate in late February and early March by wide margins.
Both bills will go into effect on July 1, 2022.