US/World News

Georgia passes anti-BDS legislation

(JTA) — Georgia became the sixth state to pass a law targeting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, and the fifth to include settlements as protected from boycott. The bill was approved March 24 by the State Senate in a 41-8 vote. Two days earlier, the Georgia House of Representatives passed the measure in a 95-71 vote. Lawmakers from both parties supported the bill, which is expected to be signed into law soon by the Republican governor, Nathan Deal. Opponents were predominantly Democrats, although several House Republicans also joined in opposition. Under the measure, the government is forbidden from contracting with individuals or companies that fail to certify for the pact’s duration that they are not boycotting Israel or businesses in Israeli-controlled territories. States that have passed anti-BDS legislation include Georgia, Florida, Illinois, South Carolina, Indiana, and Arizona. All but South Carolina extend the anti-boycott protections to Israeli settlements. Additionally, Tennessee, Massachusetts and Maryland in recent years have passed nonbinding resolutions opposing Israel boycotts. The issue of whether such bills should extend anti-boycott protections to settlements has stirred controversy.

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