Montana Senate should approve anti-BDS measure

It’s not often a state has the chance to take a strong moral stand while at the same time safeguarding its economic interests.

House Bill 501, sponsored by Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen (R-Culbertson), would do just that, putting Montana at the forefront of states countering the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

As introduced, HB 501 would be one of the most aggressive in its repudiation of BDS.

 It would target companies participating in BDS by preventing state and local contracting with them, requiring written certification from companies that they are not participating in economic action against Israel. It would prevent new investment and require divestment of existing holdings in them by the State Board of Investment, making no distinction between Israel and Israeli-controlled territories.

Unfortunately, despite national bipartisanship on this issue, both committee and House floor votes have been largely on partisan lines.

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