Governor Kristi Noem says the state will not do business with entities that are involved in a campaign boycotting the state of Israel.
Noem’s executive order requires contractors and bidders to certify they are not participating that campaign when contracting with the state.
Noem wields a blue pen as she signs an executive order that condemns anti-Semitism and stands against the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions campaign—or BDS. The state becomes the 28th to pass a law or executive order
Noem focuses on the spiritual and national security relationship between the United States and Israel.
She says the executive order will ensure that bids or state contracts are NOT awarded to those aligned with BDS activities.
In the capitol rotunda following the signing of the executive order, Noem says the state will not tolerate, do business with, or have contracts with that participate in those boycott activities.
“The executive order is three pages long, but the purpose is to say we will not knowingly enter into a contract with someone who is a part of that BDS movement,” Noem says. “And if we find out afterward that there is false certification, that we can break that contract as well.”
BDS is a Palestinian-led movement that seeks to challenge international support for what they call “Israeli apartheid and settler colonialism.”
Zoha Khalili is a staff attorney at Palestine Legal, which tracks anti-boycott efforts across the country since 2015.
Khalili says actions like this penalize people who participate in boycotts of Israel that seek to promote Palestinian freedom and equality.
“People are not engaging with the issue of the human rights violations that the Israeli government is engaging in, but they’re trying to prevent people from engaging in advocacy around that issue, or talking about that issue in passing different kinds of laws to scare people from having those conversations.”
The executive order certification applies to contractors and bidders who employ more than five people an are contracting for goods or services that exceed $100-thousand dollars. Executive orders are not laws, but have the same legal binding nature.