Missouri Joins 31 Other States in Passing Anti-BDS Legislation

Missouri Governor Mike Parson signs an anti-BDS bill
Missouri Governor Mike Parson signs an anti-BDS bill into law. July 13, 2020. (photo credit: OFFICE OF MISSOURI GOVERNOR)

Missouri became the 32nd state to pass anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) legislation on Monday when Governor Mike Parson signed into law a bill that prohibits it from contracting with companies that boycott Israel.

Under the Anti-Discrimination Against Israel Act, Missouri and its political subdivisions are prohibited from signing a contract with a company unless it includes written certification that the company is not currently engaged in, and agrees for the duration of the contract not to engage in, a boycott of goods or services from the State of Israel or any company, person or entity doing business with or in Israel.

The legislation does not apply to contracts of less than $100,000, nor does it apply to companies with fewer than 10 employees.

“This law is about trade not politics, and it has the potential to create jobs and economic growth for Missourians, Palestinians and Israelis,” American Jewish Committee St. Louis director Nancy Lisker said in a press release. “We are grateful for the leadership of Governor Parson and for the dogged determination of its lead sponsors, Senator Dr. Bob Onder and Representative Holly Rehder, for championing this important legislation.”

The Missouri State Senate passed the bill by a 28-1 vote on April 30, and the House of Representatives concurred in May, voting 95-40 in favor.

The law was praised by Christians United for Israel chairman Pastor John Hagee. The legislation made it “clear that Missouri will not be party to the economic warfare waged by Israel’s detractors,” he said in a statement.

“Missourians can now rest assured that their tax dollars will not be used in furtherance of the antisemitic movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel,” Hagee said, adding: “Even where it masquerades as anti-Zionism, we will continue to roll back the antisemitic tide that is sweeping across the country.”

Other states to have already passed anti-BDS legislation include Florida, New York, New Jersey, California and Texas.