The Maryland General Assembly is considering legislation to oppose the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

The BDS movement is a global network of individuals and organizations whose objective is to isolate Israel politically, economically and culturally. Their overall goal is to challenge Israel’s right to exist as the sovereign homeland of the Jewish people by falsely labeling Israel as racist and genocidal. BDS promotes a biased and divisive approach to the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict by advocating for unconstructive and divisive actions aimed exclusively at blaming and pressuring Israel. They seek to punish only Israel, instead of positively encouraging political and economic cooperation to implement a two-state solution, which is a necessary foundation for lasting peace for both the Israeli and Palestinian people.

Legislation has been submitted, House Bill 949 and Senate Bill 739, that would prevent state retirement and pension investments in companies that are participating in a boycott of Israel and prohibit such companies from securing procurement contracts with the state. Maryland should join with sixteen other states that have passed similar laws.