[Image Source: Wikimedia Commons]

The Israeli-American Coalition for Action had been fighting for legislation to be passed in Massachusetts that would make it illegal for states from contracting with companies that boycott Israel. This important bill has now been scheduled to be heard in the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight, this coming week, on July 18.

The Massachusetts legislature would consider bipartisan support for the bill that would effectively prohibit discrimination in state contracts. The bill was filed by Representatives Paul McMurtry and Steven Howitt, and Senators Cynthia Creem and Bruce Tarr.

The bill prohibits the state from contracting with companies that are engaged in discrimination including those that boycott Israeli businesses. Singling out and refusing to deal with a business owner based on an immutable characteristic —national origin in the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) context—is a form of discrimination and taxpayer funds should not be used to subsidize this conduct.

The bill follows similar anti-BDS laws passed in several other states and underscores the strength of the Massachusetts-Israel relationship. Among the states that have passed anti-BDS legislation in recent months are: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

Lev Haolam thanks Massachusetts for taking action to stop BDS from harming Israel. We hope to report on more states in the US joining the fight against the BDS movement.