Louisiana’s Democratic governor has just passed a pro-Israel policy that may set him at odds with many Democrats:
NOLA – Gov. John Bel Edwards issued an executive order Tuesday night (May 22) prohibiting Louisiana state government from doing business with companies that boycott Israel.
The order directs the state commissioner of administration, Jay Dardenne, to terminate existing state contracts with companies if they are currently boycotting Israel or supporting those who do so. Moving forward, companies will be required to sign an agreement certifying that they aren’t boycotting Israel before being awarded a state contract.
The prohibition will not be applied to companies that have contracts with the state that total less than $100,000 or that have fewer than five employees, according to the executive order.
Edwards issued the order on the same night he was celebrating the 70th anniversary of Israel at the governor’s mansion. The Louisiana House also honored Israel at the opening of their special session Tuesday afternoon.
“The United States, and by affiliation Louisiana, have benefited in innumerable ways from our deep friendship with Israel. Any effort to boycott Israel is an affront to this longstanding relationship. I am pleased that Louisiana will join what is now a critical mass of states in supporting our closest ally,” Edwards, a Democrat, said in a written statement Tuesday night.
Not only will they refuse do business with companies that support or participate in the BDS movement, but going forward companies will have to certify they won’t boycott Israel in order to do business with the state. That’s pretty amazing.
What’s also important to point out is that Edwards seems to be countering New Orleans, which passed a pro-BDS policy earlier this year before scrapping it:
Earlier this year, the New Orleans City Council took heat for approving a resolution that was considered sympathetic to the BDS movement and pro-Palestinian causes.
In the end, the city council ending up scrapping the measure altogether after receiving pushback from the Jewish community. The Greater New Orleans Jewish Federation called the council’s resolution anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.
Louisiana isn’t the first state to do this…
The governor’s office said 24 other states have already passed or implemented similar measures, including nearby Arkansas. Such proposals have been pushed nationwide by the American Legislative Exchange Council and other politically conservative advocacy groups.
They are meant to counter the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which calls for people to stop doing business with Israel due to the country’s treatment of Palestinians.
If you remember back in 2012, the DNC tried to pass a resolution recognizing both faith in God and Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. When the crowd voted on the resolution, there were just as many ‘nays’ shouted as there were ‘ayes’. In fact the chair person had to do the vote twice and then it was still iffy about who had won.
My point is that there are plenty of BDS supporting Democrats out there and this move is likely going to give the governor some grief. However it’s also relevant to point out that his state is Louisiana and not California. Even so, it’s good to see such a strong stance against the BDS movement from someone on the left.