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.
Israeli private intelligence companies Psy-Group, Black Cube, etc specialize in fake online identities known as “avatars,” some work with the neocon group Foundation for Defense of Democracies – the aim is to “destabilize and disrupt anti-Israel movements from within…”
Israel partisans are pushing bills that impede Americans’ right to boycott. These are being enacted in state legislatures and introduced in Congress… while politicians are poised to give Israel even more money…
Katherine Franke writes in the New York Review of Books that while Palestinian rights are getting more attention than ever, advocates of justice still face accusations of “anti-Semitism,” harassment, and most of all, censorship on college campuses….
Activist and scholar Angela Davis is articulate and compelling as she speaks with Amy Goodman about injustice in Palestine and the injustice of those groups trying to shut down dialogue. She is gratified that the outcome of her controversial loss of the Shuttlesworth Award includes a robust conversation about justice for Palestinians; she also notes the fact that many groups, including some Jewish groups, support her.
Every day that Netanyahu chooses Trump and fundamentalism over the pro-democracy, pro-equality, pro-pluralism views of diaspora Jews, is a great day for the Palestinian cause.
No Israeli prime minister, no Israeli government and no consortium of allies has done nearly as much – inadvertently, to be sure – to bring the cause and the grievances of the Palestinians front and center.
Angela Davis on the retraction of her civil rights award: “An attack against the spirit of the indivisibility of justice”
Angela Davis, activist and scholar, was set to receive the prestigious Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award next month from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. After the event was abruptly cancelled and the award rescinded, it came to light that the “Jewish community” had been the primary impetus for the change, pressuring the BCRI board to reverse their decision because of Davis’ advocacy for Palestine and Palestinians.
Davis remains firmly on the side of justice in spite of her disappointment, and calls for an honest, robust dialogue instead of this shutdown.
Even pro-Israel Democrats may block debate on S.1 until Republicans allow vote on reopening government
Bill’s sponsor Marco Rubio claims opposition is because many Democrats support BDS, but others dispute Rubio’s accusation. Meanwhile, New Jersey Green Party opposes bill, which would give Israel billions of dollars, ‘combat BDS,’ etc…
A children’s speech pathologist refuses to sign a will-not-boycott-Israel oath: she loses her job, an unknown number of children lose her advocacy. She notes how outlandish it is that she is not required to uphold the interests of the United States, or Texas, or children, but a foreign country.
As The Intercept has repeatedly documented, the most frequent victims of official campus censorship are not conservative polemicists but pro-Palestinian activists, and the greatest and most severe threat posed to free speech throughout the west is aimed at Israel critics.