Montana House backs effort to boycott anti-Israel firms - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Montana House backs effort to boycott anti-Israel firms

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana lawmakers are debating a bill to pledge solidarity with Israel by refusing to do business with firms boycotting the Middle East country.
Republican House Speaker Austin Knudsen of Culbertson said he was spurred to sponsor the bill in part because of a spate of controversy over anti-Semitism in Whitefish.
The House endorsed the measure 59-41 on preliminary vote.
The bill would direct the Montana Board of Investments to sever ties with companies supporting a pro-Palestinian movement to boycott Israel.
Knudsen said his bill would a send a message of solidarity with Israel, a key U.S. diplomatic, military and economic partner in the Middle East.
Opponents said the bill is well-intentioned but a potential infringement on free speech. Some argued Montana should stay out of global politics.

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