Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday signed House Bill 89 into law that prohibits state agencies from contracting with companies that boycott Israel. It also prohibits certain public funds from investing in such businesses.
The Anti-BDS bill, or the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions bill, was signed at the Jewish Community Center in Austin on the day Israel celebrates its Independence Day.
“I am proud to have commemorated Israel’s Independence Day by signing into law Anti-BDS legislation in Texas,” said Abbott in a press statement. “As Israel’s number one trading partner in the United States, Texas is proud to affirm its support for the people of Israel and we will continue to build on our historic partnership.”
Abbott said Texas will not stand for anti-Israel practices.
“Anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies, and we will not tolerate such actions against an important ally,” Abbott said.
Republican state Rep. Phil King authored the bill which prohibits the state of Texas from doing business with companies involved in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. The state comptroller will “prepare and maintain, and provide to each state governmental entity, a list of all companies that boycott Israel,” the bill states.
“The measure Gov. Abbott signed today became law with bilateral support because Texas stands with its business partners and for free trade. In her 69 years, Israel has become a thriving, burgeoning state by enjoying and sharing the fruits of individual freedom and a pioneering spirit for innovation and entrepreneurism,” Charles Kaufman, who chairs B’nai B’rith’s International Center for Human Rights and Public Policy, told The Jerusalem Post.