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Gov. Mike Parson signs a bill protecting Israel from boycotts by businesses with state contracts. Left to right: Daris Patterson, Rep. Hardy Billington, Rep. Holly Rehder, Gov. Parson, and Linda and Jim Conrady of Christians United for Israel. Photo: Rep. Rehder's office.

American Jewish Committee commends Gov. Parson for signing anti-BDS bill

Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill into law that makes Missouri the 30th state to take action against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to delegitimize and demonize Israel.

The new BDS law prohibits the state of Missouri and its political subdivisions from entering into contracts worth more than $100,000 with companies with 10 or more employees that engage in the boycott of, divestment from or sanctions of Israel. The law carefully articulates Missouri’s public policy against discrimination in public contracting.

The legislation exercises the state’s freedom to choose the companies with which it will contract. It does not penalize or infringe on any individual’s right to free expression nor penalize companies that choose not to do business with Israel for legitimate economic reasons. The Anti-Discrimination Against Israel Act is consistent with federal law. The U.S. government has emphatically rejected boycotts based on national origin and interferences with foreign trade policy in general. Congress has legislated against boycotts of strategic allies for four decades.

The American Jewish Committee commended Parson for signing the BDS bill.

“This law is about trade, not politics, and it has the potential to create jobs and economic growth for Missourians, Palestinians and Israelis,” St. Louis Director Nancy Lisker said. “We are grateful for the leadership of Gov. Parson and for the dogged determination of its lead sponsors, Sen. Bob Onder and Rep. Holly Rehder, for championing this important legislation.”

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Rep. Holly Rehder

Republican Rep. Holly Rehder led the Senate bill through the House. She said doing anything to support the boycott movement goes against Missouri’s economic policies and would be “absurd.”

Rehder commended the signing and posted a photo on Facebook of the signing and stated, “It’s also been a blessing to work with Jim and Linda Conrady of Christians United for Israel. … Exciting day protecting our relationship with America’s strongest ally!”

Pastor John Hagee, founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel, also praised the anti-BDS legislation He said the law makes “clear that Missouri will not be party to the economic warfare waged by Israel’s detractors. Missourians can now rest assured that their tax dollars will not be used in furtherance of the anti-Semitic movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel.”

Hagee added, “Even where it masquerades as anti-Zionism, we will continue to roll back the antisemitic tide that is sweeping across the country.”

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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