What do certain auto part suppliers, contractors and barbers in Maryland all have in common?
In order to bid for procurement contracts with the State to provide services or goods, they must effectively first pledge loyalty to Israel.
If this doesn’t concern you, it should.
Governor Hogan’s executive order requires businesses with state contracts to promise they will not boycott the state of Israel.
It targets the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement – a global campaign that promotes peaceful, economic boycott to protest Israel’s human rights violations against Palestinians.
And it is unethical, unconstitutional and downright dangerous – especially because it prioritizes the interests of a foreign government that is in violation of international law above Marylanders’ own First Amendment rights.
After it was signed, two proponents of Governor Hogan’s anti-BDS executive order, Delegates Sandy Rosenberg and Shelley Hettleman, hailed it as an emphatic affirmation of Maryland’s “commitment to support the only real democracy in the Middle East” – meaning Israel.
What they and others don’t realize or choose to acknowledge is that in 2018, the Israeli parliament voted to pass a controversial “nation-state” bill that debunks the notion that Israel is a democratic state.
This bill reserves the right to exercise national self-determination in Israel exclusively to the Jewish people; establishes Hebrew as Israel’s official language, regaling Arabic to a “special status”; designates “Jewish settlement” as a national value; and mandates Jewish settlement to be actively encouraged and promoted by the state.
Religious pluralism is a hallmark characteristic of any democracy. Imagine a U.S. law mandating only one faith community as being entitled to the right to self-determination in the United States. Every American who values freedom of religion would categorically reject it.
Palestinians make up the vast majority of Arabs who comprise approximately one-fifth of Israel’s population. The “nation-state law” is described by many as a “slap in the face.”
In fact, upon learning that it had passed, Arab parliamentary members ripped up copies of the bill and shouted “APARTHEID” on the floor of the Knesset.
Who can blame them? This legislation codifies racism into law and exposes a nefarious, sinister agenda.