Maryland governor signs order to block boycotts of Israel

Posted at 2:06 PM, Oct 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-23 17:58:19-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has signed an executive order banning the state from doing business with companies that support boycotts of Israel.

Hogan signed the executive order Monday.

The Republican governor says requests for future bids on state contracts will include language certifying that a company has not engaged in a boycott of Israel. Hogan also says he is asking the state pension system to divest itself of companies who have participated in the movement known as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

“Israel is a robust democracy with many rights and freedoms that don’t exist in neighboring countries, or across much of the world,” said Governor Hogan in a statement.

“The shameful BDS movement seeks to undercut those rights and freedoms, using economic discrimination and fear, by boycotting Israeli companies and prohibiting them from doing business in the United States.

“The goals of this movement run counter to the strong economic relationship that Maryland has sustained with our friends and partners in Israel. As long as I am governor of Maryland, there is no place in our state for boycotts and threats which seek to undermine sincere dialogue, compromise, and cooperation.”

BDS was founded in 2005 to protest Israel's actions toward Palestinians by boycotting Israeli products and companies.

So far, 23 states have enacted laws or issued executive orders banning state business with companies that support the boycott.