State senators oppose BDS with bill

 

MADISON — Sen. Leah Vukmir and Rep. Dale Kooyenga, both Brookfield Republicans, released a bill in October that would prohibit businesses from engaging in boycotts of Israel as a condition of any state contract.

“Boycotts of Israel must be fought because they do not just attack the Jewish state. This propaganda campaign is also the basis for newly emboldened and destructive anti-Semitic attitudes,” Vukmir said in a release. “We must support our ally Israel.”

The bill would also prohibit state agencies and local governments from establishing their own policies to boycott Israel.

The measure was being circulated among both Wisconsin state chambers for co-sponsors, according to JNS.org. It prohibits “any state agency or other body in state government and any local governmental unit, including a special purpose district, from adopting a rule, ordinance, policy, or procedure that involves the state agency or local governmental unit in a boycott of Israel or a person doing business in Israel or in a territory under Israeli jurisdiction.”

The bill also “requires contracts for materials, supplies, equipment, and services between state purchasing agents and nongovernmental entities to include a provision that the nongovernmental entity is not currently participating, or will not for the duration of the contract participate, in a prohibited boycott.”

The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which has been linked to Hamas and other designated terrorist groups, deceptively claims to be concerned with Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, according to a news release from Vukmir. The campaign targets Israel and Israelis economically and politically and actually is a propaganda campaign dedicated to destroy the Jewish state, according to the release.

Currently, 21 states have enacted similar laws or resolutions to stand against BDS, according to Vukmir.