Legislation
HR 1063 (2022)
Status
Passed
Date Passed
May 2022
Full Text
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This non-binding resolution takes aim at Ben & Jerry’s 2021 announcement that it would stop doing business in illegal Israeli settlements. Ben & Jerry’s and its London-based parent company, Unilever, have come under attack from Israel and its allies who have called for states to use anti-boycott laws to divest from Unilever. The resolution declares it inconsistent with Oklahoma’s anti-boycott law (HB 3967) for Oklahoma to invest any state funds in companies such as Unilever that decide not to do business with illegal settlements. Although Oklahoma’s anti-boycott law targets only state contracts and not investments, the resolution calls on the State Treasurer and Comptroller to divest the state and its retirement funds of all Unilever investments. 

Legislation
HB 2673 (2022)
Status
Passed
Date Passed
May 2022
Type(s)
Full Text
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HB 2673 is an antisemitism redefinition bill that requires state agencies and public educational institutions to consider the distorted IHRA definition of antisemitism in assessing discrimination allegations in Tennessee’s public schools and universities. The bill specifically references the IHRA definition’s “contemporary examples of antisemitism” which include the following as examples of antisemitism related to Israel: “[a]pplying a double standards” to Israel,” or “[d]enying the Jewish people the right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” The definition is so broad and vague that it could encompass nearly any criticism of Israel, circumscribing political speech in support of Palestinian rights, potentially in violation of the First Amendment. 

Legislation
HF 2220 (2022)
Status
Passed
Date Passed
May 2022
Type(s)
Full Text
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This antisemitism redefinition bill amends Iowa’s Civil Rights Act to adopt a distorted definition of antisemitism that could encompass any and all criticism of Israel, circumscribing protected political speech activities. The bill requires the consideration of the problematic IHRA definition, including the contemporary examples, such as “Applying a double standard to the State of Israel by requiring behavior of the State of Israel that is not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation, or focusing peace or human rights investigations only on the State of Israel,” when investigating discrimination complaints. As a result, political speech supportive of Palestinian rights could be deemed unlawful discrimination in the workplace, in public accommodations, and in educational institutions in Iowa. The governor signed the bill in March 2022, and it went into effect in July 2022. Related bill: SF 2183

Legislation
HF 2373 (2022)
Status
Passed
Date Passed
May 2022
Type(s)
Full Text
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This bill, formerly HSB 639, amends Iowa’s 2016 anti-boycott law (HF 2331), and expands the definition of companies subject to the law  to include a “wholly owned subsidiary, majority-owned subsidiary, parent company, or affiliate of such business or business.”

Iowa’s anti-boycott law requires state entities to create a blacklist of entities that boycott Israel and territories it occupies. The law prohibits state entities from investing in or contracting with blacklisted entities for contracts of $1,000 or more.  The amendments in HF 2373 are specifically aimed at Ben & Jerry’s and in response to the ice cream company’s 2021 announcement that it would stop doing business in illegal Israeli settlements. Ben and Jerry’s and its London-based parent company, Unilever, have come under attack from Israel and its allies who have called for states to use anti-boycott laws to divest from Unilever. The bill went into effect in July 2022. Related bill: SF 2265.

Legislation
SB 135 (2022)
Status
Passed
Date Passed
May 2022
Type(s)
Full Text
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This bill amends Ohio’s 2017 anti-boycott law (HB 476), which prohibits state contracts with companies, including sole proprietors, that boycott any jurisdiction with which Ohio can enjoy open trade, including Israel and the territories it occupies. The amendment expands the scope of the law to include state institutions of higher education in the definition of state agencies to which the anti-boycott law applies. In addition, this bill requires state schools to make free expression policies, including the anti-boycott law, available to all students and to create formal processes to adjudicate complaints of free speech violations by university employees. The bill went into effect in July 2022.

Legislation
HB 2675 (2022)
Status
Passed
Date Passed
May 2022
Type(s)
Full Text
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Originally a bill about the right to a jury trial, this antisemitism redefinition bill requires the use of a distorted definition of antisemitism in hate crimes reporting and sentencing. Criticism of Israel and advocacy for Palestinian rights could be used as evidence of a hate crime or result in more severe sentences. 

The bill amends Arizona law to include antisemitism as one of the categories of discrimination for which the state must collect bias crime statistics, but adopts the IHRA definition of antisemitism, including its problematic contemporary examples, which include “[a]pplying double standards [to Israel] by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation” and “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” The bill requires courts to consider criticism of Israel that falls within the IHRA definition as an aggravating factor for sentencing in criminal convictions.

This bill is nearly identical to previous versions, HB 2683 and SB 1143, which failed to pass in 2020 after civil rights groups and advocates raised concerns over how the definition could be used to chill protected speech. The governor signed HB 2675 in April 2022, and it went into effect in September 2022. Related bills: SB 1713.

Legislation
SB 1250 (2022)
Status
Passed
Date Passed
May 2022
Type(s)
Full Text
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SB 1250 amends Arizona’s anti-boycott law (HB 2617 as amended by SB 1167) to include public universities and community colleges in the definition of “public entities,” that are  prohibited from investing in or entering into contracts with companies that boycott Israel or territories occupied by Israel. A federal court blocked enforcement of HB 2617 in September 2018, finding that the law would likely violate the First Amendment. Subsequent amendments removed the plaintiffs challenging the law from its reach by limiting its scope to entities with more than 10 employees and contracts more than $100,000. The law continues to require a written certification for state contractors as well as the creation of a blacklist of companies in which state retirement plans and public entities are prohibited from investing.  According to Mark Swenson, the Deputy State Treasurer of Arizona, who testified when the bill was introduced, the amendment was prompted by Ben and Jerry’s 2021 announcement that it would end sales of its ice cream in Occupied Palestinian Territory. In response to Ben and Jerry’s announcement, relying on the state’s anti-boycott law, Arizona withdrew $143 million worth of state investments from Unilever, Ben and Jerry’s parent company. Elected officials sought to close a “gap in public policy” by requiring public universities to be subject to the same anti-boycott law. The governor signed the bill in March 2022, and it went into effect in September 2022. 

Legislation
SB 1993 (2022)
Status
Passed
Date Passed
May 2022
Type(s)
Full Text
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This anti-boycott bill prohibits state contracts with companies, including nonprofits, that boycott Israel or its illegal settlements. Contractors must provide a written certification that they are not and will not for the duration of the contract engage in such boycotts. The bill excludes contracts whose total value is less than $250,000 and contractors with fewer than 10 employees. A similar bill targeting boycotts for Palestinian rights was introduced in 2018 and failed to pass. Related bills: HB 2050, HB 2136. The bill passed and went into effect in July 2022.

Legislation
HB 3257 (2021)
Status
Passed
Date Passed
May 2022
Type(s)
Full Text
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HB 3257 is an antisemitism redefinition bill that incorporates the problematic examples found in the distorted IHRA definition of antisemitism and establishes the Texas Holocaust, Genocide, and Antisemitism Advisory Commission. The IHRA definition’s contemporary examples conflate criticism of Israel with antisemitism and include “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” and “Applying double standards by requiring of [Israel] a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” The bill requires the advisory commission to prepare a biennial report on antisemitism in Texas based on this definition and to provide advice and assistance to public and private educational institutions regarding methods of combating antisemitism. The law went into effect in September 2021. 

Legislation
HB 2933 (2021)
Status
Passed
Date Passed
May 2022
Type(s)
Full Text
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This anti-boycott bill prohibits state contracts with companies that boycott Israel or persons or entities doing business in Israel or territories it occupies. Contractors must provide a written certification that they are not and will not for the duration of the contract engage in boycotts of Israel. The bill excludes contracts whose total value is less than $100,000 and contractors that have fewer than 10 full time employees. An earlier version of the bill would have created a blacklist and prohibited state investment in companies that boycott Israel. A similar bill was also introduced this session (SB 351). The legislature passed HB 2933 in April 2021, and it went into effect in July 2022.