“Many United States states are using anti-boycott laws and executive orders to punish companies that refuse to do business with illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Human Rights Watch said today. More than 250 million Americans, some 78 percent of the population, live in states with anti-boycott laws or policies.”
“Twenty-seven states [*] have adopted laws or policies that penalize businesses, organizations, or individuals that engage in or call for boycotts against Israel. The laws or policies in 17 of those states explicitly target not only companies that refuse to do business in or with Israel, but also those that refuse to do business in Israeli settlements. Some states whose laws do not explicitly apply to settlements have also penalized companies that cut settlement ties.”
“Many states have anti-boycott laws or policies that extend to individuals and companies that enter into business contracts with states. These laws and policies require people entering into contracts to assert that they will not engage in any boycott activity.”
“In January 2019, the US Senate passed a bill that endorsed state anti-boycott legislation, including those that encompass settlement business activity. In March, federal lawmakers introduced resolutions in both the Senate and House to condemn boycotts of Israel. None of these initiatives has yet to become US law.”
“The Foundation for Middle East Peace published a chart listing the 17 states whose anti-boycott laws or implementing guidelines penalize businesses that boycott Israel or the territories controlled by Israel, a phrase that applies to the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.”
““States with anti-boycott laws are effectively telling companies that if you do the right thing and disentangle yourselves from settlement abuses, you can’t do business with us,” said Andrea Prasow, deputy US advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “States should encourage, not sanction, companies that avoid contributing to rights abuses.””
* It was 34 in early 2021. See up-to-date list of US states with anti-BDS legislation.