OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Mark McBride (R-Moore) today won passage of legislation that recognizes Israel as one of Oklahoma’s top trade partners and the nation’s greatest ally in the Middle East.
House Bill 3967 specifies that unless exempted by the secretary of state, the state of Oklahoma will not enter into contracts with companies that advocate boycotts, divestments or sanctions (BDS) against Israel. The state also will not adopt a procurement, investment or other policy that has the effect of inducing or requiring a person to boycott the government of Israel or those doing business in or with Israel or territories under its jurisdiction.
“Israel is Oklahoma’s twelfth largest trading partner and the United States’ No. 1 ally in the Middle East,” McBride said. “And yet we have people here in the state and nationally who would like to see Israel cease to exist as a nation. This is not only anti-business and anti-peace, but it is morally wrong.”
McBride said Oklahoma exported almost $104 million of commodities to Israel in 2019, up from almost $61 million in 2017. He said such trade represents a number of jobs in the state. Contracting with companies that refuse to deal with U.S. trade partners, such as Israel, or that make discriminatory decisions on the basis of national origin is risky and unsound trade practice. He also points out that U.S. policy opposes such boycotts and that Congress has concluded as a matter of national trade policy that cooperation with Israel materially benefits U.S. companies and improves American competitiveness.
McBride said as a Christian, he also personally believes Israel has a unique covenant relationship with God, and the Bible is clear: those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed.
HB 3967 is modeled after legislation adopted by 28 other states, including Kansas.
HB 3967 passed the House with a vote of 75-20.
The bill is co-authored in the House by House Majority Leader Mike Sanders (R-Kingfisher), House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City), House Republican Caucus Chair Tammy West (R-Oklahoma City), State Reps. Brad Boles (R-Marlow) , David Hardin (R-Stilwell), Brian Hill (R-Mustang), Robert Manger (R-Oklahoma City), Kevin McDugle (R-Broken Arrow), Garry Mize (R-Guthrie), Sean Roberts (R-Hominy), Randy Randleman (R-Eufaula) Todd Russ (R-Cordell), Chris Sneed (R-Fort Gibson) and Marilyn Stark (R-Bethany).
HB 3967 now moves to the state Senate where the Senate author is Darrell Weaver (R-Moore).