Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards this week issued an executive order prohibiting Louisiana state government from doing business with companies that boycott Israel. On May 22, 2018, he led his state in joining 24 others and numerous municipalities that enacted similar legislation and executive orders to prevent the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions campaign against Israel from grasping control over government finances.
The governor’s executive order specifically mentions BDS, which is intended to isolate, weaken and ultimately destroy the Jewish state. “The state of Louisiana unequivocally rejects the BDS campaign and stands firmly with Israel,” reads Edwards’ executive order.
Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs, expressed her optimism about the turn of events in Louisiana. “We are heartened that Louisiana has taken a strong stand opposing discrimination against Israel. Earlier this year, the city of New Orleans rejected an anti-Semitic resolution, and now the state has made clear that tax payer funds should not support businesses which discriminate.”
The order directs the state commissioner of administration to terminate existing state contracts with companies if they are currently boycotting Israel or supporting those who do. In the future, companies will be required to certify that they aren’t boycotting Israel before being awarded a state contract.
The prohibition does not impact speech or consumer conduct. It is limited solely to commercial conduct only and 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.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued the executive order on the same night that he was celebrating the 70th anniversary of Israel at the governor’s mansion.