New Hampshire became the 37th U.S. state to put an anti-BDS action on its books.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed an executive order on Thursday barring the state from investing in companies that boycott Israel or their trade partners. The ceremony was attended by Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan.
“Your crucial step is creating an economic Iron Dome that ensures our shared progress and prosperity,” said Erdan, addressing Sununu. “But not only are you defending our shared interests. You are also fortifying the moral Iron Dome protecting the values of truth, justice and morality.”
Erdan also trained his focus on the U.N. Commission of Inquiry investigating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The commission has been harshly criticized by the United States and a wide swath of countries for its partiality, a documented history of antisemitism and anti-Israel activity among its members, along with a singular mandate that carries on in perpetuity and allows it to opine on any and all issues regarding the conflict.
The commission recently criticized American states for passing laws prohibiting boycotts of Israel.
“New Hampshire’s support for Israel today is the perfect response to this antisemitic U.N. commission,” said Erdan. “We must boycott our boycotters and delegitimize our delegitimizers.”
Erdan pointed to the impact anti-BDS laws have had on companies such as Ben & Jerry’s and Airbnb, which attempted to cut business ties with Jewish communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines and were pressured to change course by various state officials.
The Israeli-American Coalition for Action (IAC for Action), which helped to draft anti-BDS laws in New Hampshire and elsewhere, praised Sununu’s action.
“IAC for Action applauds Gov. Sununu for standing up against national origin discrimination and defending the deep cultural and commercial ties between Israel and New Hampshire,” said IAC for Action chairman Shawn Evenhaim. “This executive order protects the freedom and liberty of New Hampshire businesses from the coercion and bullying tactics of the BDS hate movement.”
Sununu’s executive order—similar to that of New York State’s—does not carry the force of law, as it was not passed by the legislature, and could be canceled or expanded at will by future governors. Anti-BDS laws have been passed by the other 35 aforementioned states through their respective legislatures.
At Thursday’s ceremony, former U.S. Rep. Alan Clemmons of South Carolina presented a letter addressed to U.N. officials and Commission of Inquiry members, and signed by legislators representing 42 states. The letter chided the commission’s criticism of anti-BDS laws as an “unwelcome intrusion into our states’ affairs and democratic processes and is based upon gross misrepresentations and identifiably antisemitic canards.”
The signatories to the letter wrote that they “condemn your report and highlight the illegitimacy of your findings. Furthermore, we reject whatever legal or moral authority you may claim to assert.”