Palestinians in Gaza protest against the German Parliament decision on BDS on 23 May 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor] A significant number of Israeli and Jewish intellectuals publicly denounced Germany’s “deceitful” anti-BDS bill, the first of its kind in Europe. [Nathan Thrall summarizes the birth and goals of BDS: The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement…
State lawmakers and governors across the US have allowed the Israel lobby to write public policy. New laws and executive orders have been crafted by Israel lobbyists, then copied from one state to the next, adopted with virtually identical language. The groundwork for anti-boycott legislation was laid by Israel partisans a decade ago…
Giraldi sums up presidential hopeful Cory Booker: “a complete sell-out to Israel and its Jewish supporters” who tries to be “more Israeli than the Israelis.” Booker claims that there is “no greater moral vandalism than abandoning Israel,” and swears to give Israel even more money.
Former President Jimmy Carter encourages the House of Representatives to reject the anti-BDS bill: “Under our Constitution, people and legal entities have the right to express political views without fear of consequences.”
Among the many state and local orgs that work in the shadows for Israel is the Virginia-Israel Advisory Board (VIAB), funded by Virginia taxpayers. VIAB’s main objective is to provide preferential and unconditional funding to oftentimes secretive Israeli business projects designed to entwine Israeli industries into Virginia industries and government. VIAB is currently being scrutinized by the state Attorney General over its handling of government funds.
In Arkansas, a newspaper publisher is in financial straits after refusing to sign an anti-BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) pledge for Israel. He believes that political dissent is protected speech, and that the Arkansas law violates his constitutional rights and his journalistic ethics.
Tennessee has just passed a resolution reaffirming Tennessee’s “unequivocal support” for Israel. State Senator Mark Pody pushed for its passage for “biblical” and other reasons..
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney Brian Hauss dissects the accusation from the anti-BDS camp that it is “hypocritical” to support anti-discrimination laws (think: wedding cake), but oppose anti-BDS laws. Bottom line: businesses do not have the right to refuse service to consumers because of who they are. On the other hand, consumers have a First Amendment right to withhold their patronage from businesses in order to express their political beliefs.
Americans in general do not like anti-BDS laws nearly as much as Congress does: just 22.5% of American adults polled favor anti-boycott measure. But Washington and many state legislatures are pushing through legislation that would criminalize boycott of Israel.
As Congress tackles urgent issues of reopening government and setting the budget for the country, it takes the time to prioritize a foreign country: H.R.648 contains assurances that Israel will receive $3.8 billion for arms, and funding for refugee resettlement; the bill also includes threats to de-fund the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and any future state of Palestine–if US demands (dictated by the Israel lobby) are not met.