This winter various legislators submitted New Hampshire Home Invoice 339, an act prohibiting the usage of state funds to contract with or spend money on any firm taking part in a discriminatory boycott of Israel. Israel is a key commerce associate for our state and contributes materially to our high quality of life. It is usually sadly the goal of a hate motion that seeks to isolate it economically, alienate it socially and coerce impartial companies into becoming a member of the hate-driven boycott in opposition to their will.
The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) hate motion targets Israelis, Jews and their commerce companions. The aim of this invoice is to adapt to the general non-discrimination coverage of the State of NH, and shield our economic system from the influence of discriminatory and dangerous investments. Whereas selling protected funding of the funds of the residents of NH entrusted to the State, this laws additionally fulfills an ethical and authorized obligation for the State to function in a non-discriminatory method.
To get a really feel for the way vital this commerce relationship is, New Hampshire’s whole exports to Israel since 1996 exceed $1.1 Billion, and 2021 exports of manufactured items had been $110M, making the State of Israel New Hampshire’s 14th largest commerce associate. These exports characterize the output of many New Hampshire-based companies answerable for 1000’s of jobs that rely on this industrial commerce. Moreover, it’s crucial to think about the cutting-edge nature of this commerce. Commerce with Israel encompasses lots of the state’s most significant financial sectors, together with agriculture, water sciences, biotech, drugs, and aerospace. Corporations and universities in our state interact in joint analysis, educational exchanges and commerce with Israel that contributes materially to the on a regular basis high quality of life in our state. Defending this commerce and cooperation is a compelling state curiosity.
We aren’t blazing new floor right here. New Hampshire would be the 36th state to cross such a regulation, and these legal guidelines have been upheld in each court docket problem they’ve confronted. Most not too long ago, the US Supreme Courtroom unanimously refused to simply accept an enchantment of a key 8th Circuit case the place a 9 to 1 holding discovered that industrial conduct is distinct from expressive speech and the 2 should not be confused. Enterprise homeowners stay free to say no matter they need about Israel. In addition they stay free to boycott if they need, however in that case the state will train its personal proper to say no to spend taxpayer cash in enterprise with them. Opponents of the invoice will try to take advantage of latent antisemitism by accusing this invoice of requiring a “loyalty oath” to Israel. This solely exposes their very own bias – they don’t declare there may be an inherent “loyalty oath” within the nondiscrimination affirmations that take care of gender, race and nationwide origin in our state’s current contracts.
It’s noteworthy that the official management construction of the BDS hate motion contains U.S.-designated terrorist entities overtly dedicated to the destruction of the State of Israel. In the midst of selling discrimination in opposition to Israel, the BDS hate motion purposefully makes use of disinformation and baseless claims, in addition to traditional anti-Semitic themes, to demonize and dehumanize Israel, such because the suggestion of Jewish subversion, conspiracy theories, twin loyalty, greed and financial manipulation, and most horribly, blood libels. The BDS Motion’s messaging technique helps to systematically facilitate the event of bigoted anti-Jewish views that as historical past repeatedly exhibits, will finally give solution to anti-Semitic discrimination, hatred, and finally persecution. It’s no coincidence the rise of the BDS hate motion has tracked a parallel rise in antisemitic crime and discrimination.
Enacting an anti-BDS regulation in New Hampshire will assist us preserve a good and degree enjoying subject for all our residents, and can shield the rights of our native companies to have interaction freely in commerce of their selecting with out worry of the coercive techniques of the BDS hate motion. One of many internet advantages seen in different states from passing an anti-BDS regulation has been a lift in commerce with Israel, on account of elevated confidence in the truth that the state is a safe jurisdiction by which commerce with Israel is not going to be tampered with. BDS interferes with free commerce and drives anti-Semitism, and it has no place in New Hampshire.
Please contact your representatives, and urge them to cross HB339.
Rep. James Spillane is a Republican from Deerfield and Paul Berch is a former Democratic state consultant from Westmoreland. HB339 shall be heard within the Govt Departments and Administration Committee on March 8.