Iowa Senate Approves Bill Aimed at Countering BDS

The bill, approved by a vote of 38-9, prevents state funds from being invested in companies that boycott Israel.

A BDS demonstration in Melbourne, Australia, 2010.
Mohammed Ouda/Wikimedia Commons

The Iowa state Senate voted to approve a bill aimed at countering the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel on Wednesday.

The bill, approved by a vote of 38-9, prevents state funds from being invested in companies that boycott Israel.

The bill was passed in February year by the Iowa state House. The bill applies to funds invested by the state treasurer, Iowa Board of Regents, Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System and some other state pension funds, and does not allow a public entity from entering a contract of more than $1,000 with a company that boycotts Israel, according to the Des Moines Register.

The bill now goes to Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, for his signature.

In a voice vote on Wednesday, the Iowa Senate also approved a resolution “in support of the Jewish State of Israel,” as well as a negotiated two-state solution.

Iowa is the eighth state to pass a resolution opposing BDS, behind Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana and South Carolina.

In 2012, Iowa exported more than $48 million in goods to Israel, the Des Moines Register reported, citing the Israel Project. In addition, since 1996, Israel has imported some $482.6 million in Iowa goods.

In total, 21 states have taken up anti-BDS legislation.