Bill would ban businesses from boycotting Israel; faces backlash and support

7 months 1 week 3 days ago Tuesday, April 02 2019 Apr 2, 2019 Tuesday, April 02, 2019 10:45:00 AM CDT April 02, 2019 in News
By: Sydney Kalich, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - A proposed state Senate bill would prevent businesses from boycotting or discriminating against Israel if they are receiving money from Missouri. 

Legislators discussed Senate Bill 308 on Tuesday. It would not apply to contracts of less than $100,000 or to companies with fewer than 10 employees.

The sponsor, Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, said he wanted to support Israel. 

"Israel is America’s number one ally on the world stage and a very important trading partner for the state of Missouri," he said. "I think its really important that Missourians through their public contracts, voice their values and support the state of Israel."

Onder said the bill would only effect businesses.

"Individuals are certainly free to do what they want and still do business with the state of Missouri," he said. "And then, larger businesses, they are free to boycott Israel if they want, but they have no right to Missouri taxpayer money."

Neveen Ayesh is a Palestinian-American who opposes the bill, and her father owns a business that would be affected. She said the bill would take away an outlet to peacefully protest. 

"We choose boycotting as a peaceful method of resisting the occupation, whether here or in Palestine," Ayesh said. "I chose to boycott the state of Israel because of the oppressive policies I lived under for ten years." 

Daniel Swindell, who lived in Israel for two years, testified in favor of the bill.

"You can't discriminate against any nationality, race, gender and also be granted a state contract," he said. "You can privately do some things that you want, but this doesn’t infringe on that. It does not infringe on free speech."

Ayesh said she experienced discrimination and repression as a Palestinian when traveling through Israel. She said living in America has made her realize the depth of repression in Palestine. 

"I don't have to choose to study at a different university because I am Palestinian or because I am a brown person or a Muslim as well as American," she said. "I have my water and electricity 24 hours a day and it's not control by a government who can just shut it off randomly because of my heritage or nationality." 

Thirteen people and organizations testified for the bill while 10 testified against it, including George Smith, who received the Nobel Prize in December.

Jeff Sack of the Mid-Missouri Fellowship of Reconciliation testified against the bill saying, "I don't want this considered in our state, it's an international issue."

A similar bill, House Bill 1106, was also heard on Tuesday. If passed, Missouri would join more than 25 states that have passed a law banning boycotts or discriminations against Israel for people taking state money.

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Some Missouri business owners looking to profit from the state's burgeoning marijuana industry worry they're... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, November 10 2019 Nov 10, 2019 Sunday, November 10, 2019 11:14:00 AM CST November 10, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - From jumping across tabletops to nestling between books, twenty cats call Papa’s Cat Café home. The interactive café... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, November 10 2019 Nov 10, 2019 Sunday, November 10, 2019 7:00:00 AM CST November 10, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A news release from the Columbia Police Department said officers responded to a home invasion at the 1100... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, November 10 2019 Nov 10, 2019 Sunday, November 10, 2019 12:25:00 AM CST November 10, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Three people were injured in a car crash on Highway 63 Saturday evening. According to a... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, November 09 2019 Nov 9, 2019 Saturday, November 09, 2019 11:30:00 PM CST November 09, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Participants gathered at West Middle School on Saturday morning to spread awareness for diabetes. "The Diabetes Dash... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, November 09 2019 Nov 9, 2019 Saturday, November 09, 2019 6:39:00 PM CST November 09, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Community members came together in MU Speaker's Circle to call for justice for missing woman Mengqi Ji Elledge.... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, November 09 2019 Nov 9, 2019 Saturday, November 09, 2019 5:04:00 PM CST November 09, 2019 in News
CENTRALIA - Hubbell Power Systems workers in Centralia will return to work Monday morning with increased wages. A majority... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, November 09 2019 Nov 9, 2019 Saturday, November 09, 2019 4:47:00 PM CST November 09, 2019 in News
EMINENCE, Mo. (AP) — A herd of seven wild horses that were causing problems at a Missouri state park have... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, November 09 2019 Nov 9, 2019 Saturday, November 09, 2019 4:43:08 PM CST November 09, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Children got the chance to learn about science through hands-on experiments at the Columbia Public Schools' Planetarium on... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, November 09 2019 Nov 9, 2019 Saturday, November 09, 2019 3:26:00 PM CST November 09, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Pulaski County deputies and the South Central Drug Task Force seized large amounts of heroin, methamphetamine and cash... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, November 09 2019 Nov 9, 2019 Saturday, November 09, 2019 3:05:00 PM CST November 09, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — An inmate died after becoming unresponsive in a booking cell of the Pettis County Jail Saturday morning. ... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, November 09 2019 Nov 9, 2019 Saturday, November 09, 2019 3:01:00 PM CST November 09, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Callaway County deputies arrested a man after a report of shots fired Thursday on the 7000... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, November 09 2019 Nov 9, 2019 Saturday, November 09, 2019 2:55:00 PM CST November 09, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Fanny Winget and her son Isaac Shapiro were cleaning the house when they heard a fire alarm go... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, November 09 2019 Nov 9, 2019 Saturday, November 09, 2019 1:15:00 PM CST November 09, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Works is adding 50 new lane miles of "Third Priority" snow routes on 195 streets this... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 08 2019 Nov 8, 2019 Friday, November 08, 2019 8:08:00 PM CST November 08, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - MU knowingly violated the Missouri Sunshine Law by overestimating the cost of providing records to an animal... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 08 2019 Nov 8, 2019 Friday, November 08, 2019 7:52:27 PM CST November 08, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Some homes in Jefferson City are still suffering from the aftermath of May's EF3 tornado, but River... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 08 2019 Nov 8, 2019 Friday, November 08, 2019 6:23:00 PM CST November 08, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - In Missouri, there is a shortage of foster care parents. The number of children in the foster... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 08 2019 Nov 8, 2019 Friday, November 08, 2019 5:14:00 PM CST November 08, 2019 in Continuous News
BOONVILLE - The Boonville City Council approved a location on Nor-Cat Way for a proposed medical marijuana facility. MOCO,... More >>
3 days ago Friday, November 08 2019 Nov 8, 2019 Friday, November 08, 2019 2:48:00 PM CST November 08, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 16°
1am 15°
2am 14°
3am 13°
4am 11°