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Louisiana Is Prohibited From Working With Companies That Boycott Israel

(JTA) — Louisiana has become the 25th state to pass legislation or regulations preventing state government entities from contracting with companies that boycott Israel.

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards on Tuesday signed an Executive Order that prohibits the state of Louisiana from contracting with any company that participates in a boycott of Israel. The order specifically names the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Under the order a vendor must certify in writing, when a bid is submitted or when a procurement contract is awarded, that: it is not engaging in a boycott of Israel; and it will, for the duration of its contractual obligations, refrain from a boycott of Israel. The order also calls on the state commissioner of administration to terminate existing state contracts with companies if they currently are boycotting Israel or supporting those who do.

“Israel is America’s closest ally in the Middle East and a beacon of democracy in the region,” Edwards said in a statement. “The United States, and by affiliation Louisiana, have benefited in innumerable ways from our deep friendship with Israel. Any effort to boycott Israel is an affront to this longstanding relationship. I am pleased that Louisiana will join what is now a critical mass of states in supporting our closest ally.”

Earlier this year, the city council of New Orleans passed and then rescinded a resolution, drafted by anti-Israel activists, that would have prohibited investment with human rights violators.

States that have passed anti-BDS laws, resolutions or executive orders. Image by Mapchart

Correction, May 29: Due to an error from JTA, a previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Louisiana had become the 25th state to make it illegal to do business with companies that boycott Israel. In fact, in no state is it illegal for private entities to do business with Israel-boycotters.

Contact Alyssa Fisher at fisher@forward.com or on Twitter, @alyssalfisher

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