Press Releases

The Israel Project Applauds Rhode Island for Passing Legislation Opposing Discriminatory Boycotts

- June 18, 2016


The Israel Project today applauded the Rhode Island state legislature for passing legislation that prevents state agencies from awarding contracts to companies that unfairly single out Israel through the use of boycotts or divestment. The bill passed overwhelmingly in both houses of the legislature, and the Governor is expected to sign it into law soon.

Washington, D.C., June 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Israel Project today applauded the state of Rhode Island for passing legislation that prohibits anti-Semitic or other discriminatory boycotts of Israel. The bill, expected to be signed into law shortly, prohibits state agencies from contracting with companies engaged in the discriminatory Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

“Like so many other states in our great country, Rhode Island has a long history of standing up to bigotry, and that proud tradition is on full display today” said The Israel Project CEO Josh Block. “The people of Rhode Island have spoken, and they will not allow their taxpayer money to fund anti-Israel discrimination. It is truly a proud moment.”

The effort to boycott Israel is focused solely on isolating and demonizing the Jewish state. Its leaders have openly called for the destruction of Israel, the only free democracy in the Middle East and a close U.S. ally. Though their rhetoric tells a different tale, BDS is hatred, plain and simple.

The bill, sponsored in the General Assembly by Reps. Ackerman, Keable, Shekarchi, Craven and Blazejewski, passed overwhelmingly: 63 to 4. In the Senate, the bill passed on June 17. Governor Gina Raimondo is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming days.

Rhode Island is the tenth state to pass an anti-BDS discrimination bill, following similar victories in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, South Carolina, Iowa and Alabama.

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