(JNS.org) Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed an executive order Monday that blocks his state from award contracts to companies that support the anti-Israel BDS movement.
“Boycotts based on religion, national origin, ethnicity or place of residence are discriminatory, and contracting with businesses that practice discrimination would make the state a passive participant in private sector commercial discrimination,” the Republican governor said.
Reuven Azar, deputy head of mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., attended the signing in Annapolis and praised the move.
“The State of Israel is thankful for the steadfast support of Gov. Hogan and the people of Maryland against those who wish to delegitimize it,” Azar said.
Ben Brownstein, Mid-Atlantic campus coordinator for the pro-Israel educational and advocacy organization StandWithUs, said Hogan “should be commended for taking this bold step to ensure that his state continues to thrive in the competitive world marketplace and is taking a stand against one-sided bigotry that serves to only do harm.”
More than 30 Israeli businesses are located in Maryland. The state exported $145 million in products to Israel in 2015.
The move by Maryland follows executive orders or laws in more than 20 U.S. states that bar state business with companies that support the BDS movement.