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Following Rubio’s Lead, Mississippi Moves to Ban Boycotts Against Israel

02-13-2019
Credit: Takver via Flickr/Wikimedia Commons

Mississippi’s House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would allow the state to boycott businesses that advocate for boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

The legislation passed 88-10 and is headed to the Senate where it will most likely pass.

The bill prevents any state government department or entity from investing in businesses that boycott Israel.

If passed, Mississippi would create a list of companies that boycott Israel. Any current investments would have to be sold within 120 days beginning July 1, 2020.

Mississippi’s bill follows a measure by the United States Senate which allows states and local governments to boycott businesses that boycott the Jewish State.  

Sen. Marco Rubio sponsored the proposal and explained why he believes the boycott, divest, and sanction movement against Israel is wrong.

“The goal of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is to eliminate any Jewish state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea,” he wrote in a New York Times pieces before the measure passed.

Critics of Rubio's proposal say it violates the First Amendment right of those who wish to express their disapproval of Israel through boycotts. Supporters say the US should take the step to support its top Mideast ally. 

More than 20 states have laws that ban boycotts against Israel. 

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