(updated February 8, 2018)
In 2018, The Massachusetts Joint State Administration and Regulatory Oversight (SARO) committee sent S1689/H1685 to study, rather than releasing it for a full vote of the legislature, ending its chances of being passed this session.
For more information, read this press release from the Freedom to Boycott Coalition, comprised of over 100 faith, legal, community, civil rights and other grassroots organizations in Massachusetts.
In 2017, S1689/H1685 were introduced in the Massachusetts state legislature. This bill would require certain state contractors to certify - under penalty of perjury - that they are in full compliance with state anti-discrimination law and that they are not engaged in certain discriminatory business practices.
- Read the bill
- Share with your lawmakers:
- Legal Memo opposing the bill by Defending Dissent Foundation, Center for Constitutional Rights, National Lawyers Guild, and Palestine Legal
- Op-ed: Boycotts are an essential form of democratic protest - don't ban them, by Katherine Franke
- Op-ed: Why 100 Massachusetts groups are defending the right to boycott, by Nancy Murray
In 2016, one anti-BDS bill, HD 4156, was introduced in the Massachusetts state legislature. It would require Massachusetts to create a blacklist of for-profit entities that boycott Israel, and would require the state pension funds to divest from blacklisted companies.
MA Freedom to Boycott Coalition successfully organized to prevent HD 4156 from being voted on. In the final days of the legislative session, legislators attempted to attach the language of HD 4156 onto an unrelated economic bill. MA Freedom to Boycott Coalition and allies successfully defeated this effort.
Find out more:
These bills are the result of a campaign to suppress Palestine human rights activism in the U.S. Israel's interest in restricting this activism should not override our constitutional right to advocate for change.
The good news is that your right to engage in boycotts related to Israeli human rights abuses and to advocate for BDS is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. None of the bills and resolutions described here prohibit you from engaging in BDS activities.
Whatever your views on Israel and Palestine, these bills should be of concern because they threaten the rights of everyone in the U.S. to take collective action to address injustice. Moreover, we should all be alarmed that a foreign government, Israel, is lobbying U.S. politicians to restrict our rights.