WASHINGTON, Dec. 09, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Israel Project today released the following statement:
"The Israel Project today congratulated the Ohio State legislature for passing a bill designed to prevent taxpayer dollars from flowing to entities involved in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. The legislation passed the House by a margin of 81 to 13 and the Senate by a margin of 26 to 5.
"BDS is an anti-Semitic initiative designed to delegitimize and isolate the only Jewish state in the world. While atrocities and human rights violations are committed by governments across the world on a daily basis, Israel, a liberal democracy with universal rights, is the only country singled out by this prejudiced campaign.
"The passage of today’s legislation ensures that the state of Ohio will not stand idly by while such hatred is propagated, nor will it contribute funds to the continued demonization of the only democracy in the Middle East.
"In addition to prohibiting state participation the negative campaign of BDS, Ohio proactively and positively declared its support for Israel with the passing of an amendment that allows for an increase in the amount of foreign bonds, including Israel Bonds, in which the state and county treasurers can invest. The lead sponsors of the amendment were Rep. Robert Sprague and Rep. Steve Slesnick, and it was passed with the blessing and key tactical support of Treasurer Mandel.
'“BDS is deceitful; it pretends to be a campaign for human rights, but this is an unequivocal lie. It is nothing but anti-Semitism, and I am thankful that the lawmakers in Ohio saw it for what it is,” said The Israel Project CEO Josh Block. “This is an important moment for the people of Ohio, and I applaud them for standing in solidarity against discrimination.”
"The bill was sponsored by Rep. Kirk Schuring. Gov. Kasich (R) is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming days."
Ohio is the latest of more than a dozen states to enact such a law, following the passage of similar legislation in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and South Carolina and the signing of an executive order in New York.
About The Israel Project
The Israel Project (TIP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization that provides factual information about Israel and the Middle East to the press, policymakers and the public. Founded in 2003, TIP works in multiple languages to provide real-time background information, images, maps, audio, video, graphics and direct access to newsmakers. To learn more about TIP, visit http://www.theisraelproject.org.