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Overview

Iowa has an anti-boycott law in effect that requires state entities to create a blacklist of foreign companies that boycott Israel or territories it occupies and that prohibits both state investments in and state contracts with such companies for contracts of $1,000 or more. Iowa lawmakers also introduced an antisemitism redefinition bill requiring the state to consider a distorted definition of antisemitism that encompasses almost any criticism of Israel in investigating discrimination allegations.

State Legislation

Legislation
HF 2504
Status
Pending
Introduced
February 2020
Type(s)
Antisemitism Redefinition
Full Text
Read HF 2504 

This antisemitism redefinition bill requires state entities to consider the IHRA definition of antisemitism, including its examples related to Israel, in determining whether an alleged act of discrimination “was motivated by discriminatory antisemitic intent.” This distorted definition could encompass almost any criticism of Israel, and its adoption thereby encourages censorship of constitutionally protected advocacy for Palestinian rights. Related bills: HF 2303.

Legislation
HF 2331
Status
In Effect
In Effect Since
July 2016
Type(s)
Anti-boycott, State Contracts, State Investments
Full Text
Read HF 2331 

This anti-boycott law requires state entities to create a blacklist of “businesses and business entities that are publicly traded and not based in the United States” 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. It also requires state funds to divest from blacklisted companies. Blacklisted companies can be removed from the blacklist upon written certification that they no longer boycott Israel. Related bills: SF 2281.

Defeated Legislation

Legislation
HF 2303
Status
Defeated
Defeated On
March 2020
Type(s)
Antisemitism Redefinition
Full Text
Read HF 2303 

This antisemitism redefinition bill requires state entities to consider the IHRA definition of antisemitism, including its examples related to Israel, in determining whether an alleged act of discrimination “was motivated by discriminatory antisemitic intent.” This distorted definition could encompass almost any criticism of Israel, and its adoption thereby encourages censorship of constitutionally protected advocacy for Palestinian rights. This bill was withdrawn and replaced by the substantially similar bill HF 2504.

Defeated Legislation

Legislation
SF 2281
Status
Defeated
Defeated On
April 2016
Type(s)
Anti-boycott, State Contracts, State Investments
Full Text
Read SF 2281 

This anti-boycott bill requires state entities to create a blacklist of “businesses and business entities that are publicly traded and not based in the United States” 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. It also requires state funds to divest from blacklisted companies. Blacklisted companies can be removed from the blacklist upon written notification that they no longer boycott Israel. SF 2281’s companion bill, HF 2331, was passed into law.

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