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Jewish Leaders Commend US Appeals Court Decision Affirming Constitutionality of State Anti-BDS laws

New York, NY – Dianne Lob, Chair, William Daroff, CEO, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chair, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:

“We commend the decision by the 8th Circuit US Court of Appeals, which ruled that Arkansas’ anti-BDS law does not violate free speech. The Arkansas legislature overwhelmingly approved the anti-BDS law in 2017, which requires public contracts to include a certification that the contractor will not ‘boycott’ Israel. The judges rightfully ruled that the law does not prohibit anyone from ‘publicly criticizing Israel, or even protesting the statute itself. It only prohibits economic decisions that discriminate against Israel,’ and therefore does not infringe on First Amendment free speech protections.

“We are pleased that the Appeals Court agrees with the case we have made for years that states are within their rights to decide they do not want to be party to a discriminatory boycott of Israel, and these states do not want to take actions that they judge to be harmful to their economy. This was the first case related to anti-BDS laws to be heard by an appellate court, the court’s decision is significant in showing the constitutionality of these laws. A majority of U.S. states have taken the critical step of adopting similar laws, executive orders, and resolutions in the fight against antisemitism and discriminatory boycotts.”

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