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StandWithUs applauds the Arizona legislature for overwhelmingly passing anti-boycott legislation on March 14, 2016

(Phoenix, AZ -- March 14, 2016) -- StandWithUs applauds the Arizona legislature for overwhelmingly passing anti-boycott legislation in both houses on March 14, 2016.  

SWU especially commends David M. Gowan, Sr. Majority Leader, who introduced the legislation and carried it forward.
 
The Arizona legislation (HB/2617) prohibits the investment of state funds in companies that boycott Israel; and (2) requires parties contracting with the state government to certify that they do not participate in boycotts against Israel.
 
HB-2617 does not raise any 1st Amendment concerns because it does not in any way regulate, penalize, or infringe on anyone's private speech or conduct. Private parties who wish to boycott Israel can continue to do so freely.  HB-2617 exercises the state's own right to choose the companies in which it will invest and with whom it will contract. Exercising such discretion with taxpayer funds is an important part of reinforcing economic interests, public policy and the basic ethical standards of government.  

Boycotts of entities and individuals of specific countries often amount to ethnic, religious, racial and/or nationality discrimination, which directly contradicts the public policy of Arizona and the values of its people. Ignoring discriminatory practices and boycotts by companies doing business with the state would consequently make the state and its taxpayer funds de facto partners in these discriminatory practices and/or boycotts.  This legislation ensures that the people and government of the state will not unknowingly become party to discriminatory business practices or boycotts, particularly against our ally, Israel. Furthermore, the legislation provides the private sector with a clear business rationale for avoiding discriminatory practices and boycotts in the first place, should they come under pressure. 
 
Efforts to inflict economic harm upon Arizona's trading partners and Arizona businesses tends to weaken the state's ability to conduct trade, and harms vital economic and employment interests of the state. Arizona conducts hundreds of millions of dollars a year in exports and commerce with entities and individuals doing business in Israel. Israel is particularly known for its dynamic and innovative approach in many important business sectors that are directly linked to Arizona' industries and economies. Thousands of jobs depend up on this trade. The important economic benefits that Arizona receives from its international trade are materially harmed by discriminatory parties who participate in efforts to boycott and otherwise commercially harm entities and individuals from countries with whom Arizona conducts business.


 
About StandWithUs
 
StandWithUs (SWU) is a fifteen year-old, international, non-profit Israel education organization that supports people around the world who want to educate their campuses and communities about Israel. SWU educates through social media, videos, speakers, programs and conferences in cities around the world, offers website resources and creates materials about Israel in different languages and on a variety of topics that are distributed globally.
Based in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters throughout the U.S., in Israel, the UK and Canada..  
 
www.standwithus.com and https://www.twitter.com/StandWithUs and https://www.facebook.com/StandWithUs

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