WASHINGTON — New Jersey’s state legislature passed a law Monday aimed at deterring corporate entities from participating in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
Approved by the General Assembly in a vote of 69 to 3, after advancing through the Senate unanimously, the legislation prohibits state agencies from investing in pension and annuity funds of companies that engage in political boycotts of the Jewish State.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is expected to sign the bill into law.
Monday’s vote earned the praise of an Israel advocacy group that lobbied on the bill’s behalf, The Israel Project.
Josh Block, the organization’s CEO, called the Garden State “one of Israel’s largest trading partners.”
“The passage of this legislation today preserves that relationship and secures it for the future,” he said in a statement.
While the New Jersey law creates a disincentive for companies to boycott Israel, it is less comprehensive than similar bills passed in Iowa, Arizona and Florida — all of which have banned both state investment and procurement in entities that partake in BDS actions.
Other states to have passed similar legislation or executive measures include New York, Georgia, South Carolina, Illinois and Colorado.