Updated Oct. 30, 2017
On October 27, 2017, Governor Scott Walker signed an unconstitutional anti-boycott executive order prohibiting state agencies from contracting with companies that boycott Israel.
In 2017, SB 450/AB 553 was introduced in the Wisconsin legislature. The bills require contracts for materials, supplies, equipment, and services between public entities and nongovernmental entities, including individuals, to include a provision that the nongovernmental entity is not currently participating, or will not for the duration of the contract participate, in a boycott of Israel. The bills were enacted into law in April 2018.
Click here to read 2017 Wisconsin Act 248.
In 2016, the Wisconsin legislature considered a joint resolution condemning Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS). The resolution failed to pass.
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.