Governor Abbott Speaks With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

June 8, 2017 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding a number of pro-Israel bills signed into law during the 85th legislature. The phone conversation today follows Governor Abbott’s trip to Israel last year, where he promised the Prime Minister he would seek legislation that strengthens Texas’ relationship with Israel. In addition to the Anti-BDS bill (HB 89), Governor Abbott has also signed Senate Bills 252 and 253, which strengthen Texas’ laws to prohibit state agencies from contracting with or investing in companies that do business with Iran, or designated foreign terrorist organizations.

"Texas has enjoyed a long and productive relationship with the Israel, and I am proud to reaffirm our commitment to our most trusted partner in the Middle East with the signing of these laws," said Governor Abbott. 

I thank the Texas legislature for passing laws to strengthen the relationship between Texas and Israel, and I look forward to further fortifying our alliance moving forward.

During the conversation this morning, Governor Abbott spoke of Texas’ strong support for Israel, and reaffirmed that anti-Israel policies are anti-Texas policies. Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked the Governor for his strong support of the Texas-Israel alliance, and for solidifying the bond and values that both Texas and Israel share. 

Pro-Israel bills signed into law by Governor Abbott include:  

House Bill 89 (HB 89), authored by Rep. Phil King, is known as the Anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions) bill, which prohibits state agencies from contracting with, and prevents certain public funds from investing in, companies that boycott Israel.

Senate Bill 252 (SB 252) updates state contracting law to prohibit governmental entities from contracting with companies engaged in business with Iran, or designated foreign terrorist organizations. 

Senate Bill 253 (SB 253) expands Texas' current Iranian divestiture standards to additional state funds and extends these prohibitions to include various local government funds. 

Both Senate bills were authored by Senator Van Taylor.