ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ/AP) — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has signed an executive order banning the state from doing business with companies that support boycotts of Israel.
Surrounded by national and local Jewish leaders, Gov. Hogan declared Monday there’s no place in our state for boycotts and threats.
“The state of Maryland stands steadfast in solidarity with Israel and we made it clear our strong opposition to the boycott, divestment and sanctions or BDS movement, Hogan said. “This executive order is in line with the same long standing policy against discriminatory boycotts enforced in numerous federal laws.”
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.
the associated jewish community federation of baltimore and others appalud the order.
“There are companies that are literally being boycotted for the mere fact that they have any association with Israel, and this is discriminatory and this is not how we in Maryland or the United States or Israel – we come from democracy, we come from freedom,” said Linda A. Hurwitz of the Associated Jewish Community Federation.
Gov. Hogan dismissed claims that the boycott is freedom of speech.
“They’re asking people to discriminate against Israel, that’s clear – there’s no argument to the contrary that makes any sense,” he said.
A bill introduced to make anti-BDS the law will be introduced next year. It failed to get a vote this session.
Hogan last year joined governors in all 50 states signing a pledge against BDS.
BDS was founded in 2005 to protest Israel’s actions toward Palestinians by boycotting Israeli products and companies.
The order is effective immediately.
So far, 23 states have enacted laws or issued executive orders banning state business with companies that support the boycott.
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