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Oklahoma Legislature Passes Anti-BDS Law

[additional-authors]
May 20, 2020
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The Oklahoma State Senate passed a law on May 15 barring the state government from providing contracts to companies that boycott Israel.

According to a press release from the office of State Rep. Mark McBride (R), who authored the bill, the law also would prevent the state government from leveraging an entity to boycott Israel. The bill also doesn’t apply to contracts valued below $100,000.

The bill passed the State Senate with 36 votes in favor and seven against; it passed the State House on May 4 with 75 votes in favor and 20 against.

“This legislation recognizes Oklahoma’s relationship with and support of Israel as one of Oklahoma’s largest trading partners and the staunchest ally of the United States’ in the Middle East,” McBride said in a statement. “In a time when there are people and nations that would like to see Israel cease to exist as a nation, this legislation is more important than ever.”

The press release noted that Israel is Oklahoma’s 12th largest trading partner, accounting nearly $104 million of the state’s exports.

StandWithUs CEO and co-founder Roz Rothstein tweeted, “GREAT news! 30 states now have anti-BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] legislation!! The newest state to come on board is Oklahoma!”

On May 14, the Missouri legislature passed a similar anti-BDS bill.

“Israelis and Palestinians want peace, they want investment not divestment, and they want for the whole region to prosper,” American Jewish Committee St. Louis Regional Director Nancy Lisker said in a statement at the time. “Through this legislation both economies, Missouri’s and Israel’s, will continue to grow.”

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