by News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff
Republican Governor Matt Bevin issues order that bans awarding state contracts to companies that participate in boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin
Republican Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has signed an executive order to ban awarding state contracts to companies that participate in boycott, divestment and sanction practices against Israel.
Bevin signed the order during a ceremony at the state capital, Frankfort, with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and Consul General of Israel to the Southeast United States Judith Varnai Shorer.
Kentucky joins a growing list of states that have enacted anti-BDS measures, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Supporters of the BDS movement argue that it is a nonviolent way to support the Palestinian cause, but Bevin called the movement anti-Semitic and "repugnant." He referenced passages from the biblical book of Ezekiel about being a watchman, saying Kentucky was watching and sounding the alarm.
"The State of Israel is an important friend and trading partner to the Commonwealth," Bevin said.
"We will not allow state resources to benefit entities that intentionally engage in discriminatory practices to harm the sovereignty and economic prosperity of any ally nation.
"Today’s executive order makes it clear that Kentucky condemns the BDS movement and that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our friend, Israel."
Jewish and pro-Israel groups lauded the move.
"Boycotting Israel is immoral, as it specifically targets a staunch ally of the United States. Everyone in the Commonwealth of Kentucky should be proud that we are now on record as officially opposing the demonization of Israel," said Matthew Goldberg, director of community relations for the Jewish Federation of Louisville.
Roz Rothstein, CEO of the StandWithUs NGO, said, "In this executive order, Kentucky follows other states in protecting its citizens from becoming de facto participants in discrimination and anti-Semitism. We commend his leadership at a time when we see anti-Semitism rising."
News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff
Follow Middle East and Terrorism on Twitter