Ill. Gov. Signs First Anti-BDS Bill Into Law

Gov. Bruce Rauner of Illinois / AP

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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner became the first state leader to sign into law "historic" legislation that makes it illegal for any taxpayer-funded public pension fund to invest in any company that participates in the fiercely anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Rauner was joined at the signing ceremony by Jewish community leaders and other lawmakers who backed the bill, which was a first in any U.S. state legislature.

"The Illinois law is the first state-based measure to take specific concrete action against boycotts of Israel," the governor’s office said in a statement. " The legislation, which was modeled after past measures relating to Iran and Sudan, requires state pension systems to terminate direct investment in companies that boycott Israel and issue warnings to fund managers when such companies are held indirectly inside larger portfolios."

Rauner said in a statement that states must "stand up" to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Israel advocates.

"We need to stand up to anti-Semitism whenever and wherever we see it," Gov. Rauner said in the statement. "This historic legislation is an important first step in the fight against boycotts of Israel and I hope other states move quickly to follow our lead."

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