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February 22, 2019       Share:    


Correcting Misperceptions about Anti-BDS Laws

(Reason) David E. Bernstein - I've seen much misinformation and bad legal analysis regarding state laws that require state contractors to certify that they do not boycott Israel or those who do business with Israel, otherwise known as "anti-BDS laws." Anti-BDS laws do not require anyone to "pledge loyalty to the State of Israel." They simply don't. This is a lie. Contractors must simply certify that they are not participating in anti-Israel boycotts. They are free to criticize Israel as much as they like and donate to anti-Israel campaigns or candidates. Laws banning boycotts of Israel aren't unprecedented. Federal law has banned U.S. entities from participating in or complying with the Arab League boycott of Israel since the late 1970s. This law has been around for forty-plus years, and has never been subject to a successful First Amendment challenge. The writer is a professor at the George Mason University School of Law.

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