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Maryland Lawmakers Slam Anti-Israel Boycott But Leave Out Penalties

Maryland lawmakers included language in the new state budget condemning academic boycotts of Israel but scrapped any penalties that were included in a bill under consideration.

Wording in the 2015 fiscal year spending plan, which was adopted Sunday, includes a statement of strong support for Israel along with condemnation of the American Studies Association’s boycott of the Jewish state, but no separate law or financial penalties.

The bill had called for a 3 percent penalty against any Maryland public college using public money to send professors and other staff to conferences hosted by organizations that support a boycott of any country that has a declaration of cooperation with Maryland — a list that includes Israel. The measure did not specifically mention Israel or the ASA boycott.

The American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League had opposed the proposals in the state Senate and House of Delegates.

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