‘Israel Support Act’ sent to Governor’s desk

A bill supporting Israel has passed at the Capitol.

After the House passed the ‘Israel Support Act of 2019’ earlier in the session, the Senate followed suit, and the bill has been sent to Governor Bryant’s desk. The bill prohibits the state treasurer’s office and the state Public Employee’s Retirement System from doing business with companies that boycott Israel.

Following the passage of the bill, Lt. Governor Tate Reeves and Governor Phil Bryant both tweeted their support with the Governor saying “Mississippi stands with Israel”.

The Consul General of Israel to Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Puerto Rico also praised the Mississippi Legislature for their support.

The bill does allow for exceptions if the company in question retracts their boycott, or if the “investor” is able to show that the investments are “necessary in order to perform its functions.” The legislation, authored by Rep. Donnie Bell, also includes a definition of boycott as it relates to this bill.

“Refusing to deal, terminating business activities, or taking other actions to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories, in a discriminatory manner. A statement by a company that it is participating in a boycott of Israel, or that it has initiated a boycott in response to a request for a boycott of Israel or in compliance with, or in furtherance of, calls for a boycott of Israel, may be considered by the public fund to be evidence that a company is participating in a boycott of Israel. The term does not include restrictive trade practices or boycotts fostered or imposed by foreign countries against Israel.”

Any investments that the state has in businesses boycotting Israel must be divested by July 1, 2020.