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New Hampshire becomes 37th US state to ban boycott of Israel

July 7, 2023 at 2:43 pm

A protest condemning Germany for calling the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement anti-Semitic outside of Germany’s Representative Office in the West Bank, 22 May 2019 [AFP/Getty Images]

New Hampshire became the 37th US state to ban state offices from investing in or doing business with companies that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Republican Governor, Chris Sununu, was joined by Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, and Consul General to New England, Meron Reuben, as he signed an executive order yesterday at an event in the state capital Concord banning state bodies from boycotting Israel.

“New Hampshire and Israel have experienced decades of successful exchange of commerce, culture, technology and tourism,” Sununu said in a statement. “New Hampshire will not tolerate antisemitism, and we are taking significant steps at the state level to prohibit discriminatory boycotts.”

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In addition to the order banning New Hampshire executive branch entities from boycotting Israel and investing in any company that boycotts Israel, the state agencies must also inform any company they contract with of the anti-BDS policies.

Erdan said: “Your crucial step is creating an economic Iron Dome that ensures our shared progress and prosperity. But not only are you defending our shared interests. You are also fortifying the moral Iron Dome protecting the values of truth, justice and morality.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) slammed the anti-BDS legislation, saying it is part of a much broader assault on democracy and a crackdown on people’s right to protest.

Gadeir Abbas, CAIR’s senior litigation attorney, condemned the order as a “total assault on our First Amendment rights.”

He said in a statement: “The government cannot tell Americans how to spend their money or who to financially support. Boycotts have been a part of American political life since the founding of our nation, and no state order attempting to ban or limit our right to boycott can be legitimate.”

Launched in 2005, the BDS movement, inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, advocates for the boycotting of Israeli products imported from the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank, as well as the boycotting of and divestment from companies which deal with or have contracts with the ongoing occupation.

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