The governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin, has signed an executive order to reject any state agreement with companies that support the boycott of Israel, while the BDS (boycott, release and sanctions) is anti-Semitic and "disgusting".
Bevin signed the order on Thursday during a ceremony in Kentucky Capitol with Israeli ambassador Rhon Dermer and general consul of Israel in the southeastern state of Judith Varnai Shorer.
Bevin called the movement anti-Semitic and "disgusting". He mentioned parts of Ezekiel's book in the Bible about how the guard was, saying that Kentucky was watching and sounding an alarm.
"The State of Israel is an important friend and trading partner of the Commonwealth," said Bevin. "We will not allow state resources to benefit from subjects deliberately taking part in discriminatory practices to harm the sovereignty and economic prosperity of any ally." Today's executive order makes it clear that Kentaki condemns the BDS movement and keeps on the shoulder with our friends, Israel. "
Dermer thanked Bevin for "making it clear that anti-Semitism is not welcome in the Bluegrass country."
The Executive Order states that "Commonsell Kentucky unequivocally rejects the BDS movement and stands firm with Israel", noting that BDS practices jeopardize the sovereignty and security of the American ally and friends of Commonwealth.
"Israel's boycott is immoral because it specifically targets the only democracy in the Middle East, the United States's steep ally for decades," said Matthev Goldberg, director of the Department of Communities in the Jewish Federation of Louisville. "Everyone in the Kentucky Commons should be proud that we have now officially opposed the demonization of Israel on record."
Kentucky has robust trade relations with Israel, which resulted in nearly 85 million dollars of goods and services exports last year. As the 17th largest state exporter of goods in the country, Bevin noted that the growing economy of Kentucky has benefited from free trade that is not discriminatory practice disabled or limited.
In 2017, exported goods accounted for more than 15 percent of the country's domestic product, and nearly 4500 companies exported goods from Kentucky to other countries.
"The Christian community is grateful to Bevin for his leadership in taking this action to protect Israel from commercial discrimination," said Dave Vicker, a congressional link for Christianity United for Israel. "The BDS movement is inherently discriminatory and anti-Semitic, and there is no place in Commonwealth. I am proud that Kentucky stands to oppose religious discrimination against our greatest ally, Israel."
Bevin previously joined the governors of all 50 US states and the mayor of the District of Columbia in signing the promise of "Governors United Against BDS".
In 2016, the Kentucky House of Representatives adopted Resolution 250, opposing the BDS movement and expressing support for the sovereignty of Israel. State representative Tim Moore agreed on a resolution that stressed that, if not controlled, the BDS movement threatens to weaken the Jewish state. (UVI)