By 7am this morning, 200 people from all over New York got onto buses headed for Albany. They’re on their way to make sure Governor Andrew Cuomo sees that there’s a political price for his executive order creating an official state blacklist of organizations that support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS).
This is not just a New York issue – it affects us all.
Please, pick up the phone now and tell Governor Cuomo: we are protecting our right to boycott – for the sake of all our communities.
I have to be honest: I think the fact that we even have to fight this is absurd. Having to fight to protect the right to boycott? Against a Governor who as recently as last month enacted an official state boycott (of the state of North Carolina in the wake of its vicious anti-trans laws)?
Now? When there is so much pro-active, visionary, healing, forward-looking work to do?
But it is what it is: a fight we can’t afford to lose – no matter where we live.
This is, absolutely, a forceful attack on New Yorkers fighting to change US and Israeli policies toward Palestine. But it’s also part of a global strategy of lawfare against the BDS movement. Against the very idea that Palestinians have human rights.
Cuomo’s blacklist attacks social movement organizing, period. On any issue. Anywhere. It’s an attack on the principle that we must come together to find meaningful ways to end violence. At base, it’s a defense of occupation, expulsion, and apartheid.
We know that state officials and Israel boosters are watching what happens in each of these states. Frankly, we know that politicians and elites are watching all our social movements to see how much power we can leverage – and to find the best avenues to hem us in.
I also should say that I believe the courts will find this order to be unconstitutional. But we still have to shape this story. Can we make this a lesson for what politicians shouldn’t do – and further evidence that the future of politics in this country lies in defending Palestinian rights?
That depends, in part, on you giving 60 seconds right now if you can to make sure Cuomo knows you’re watching.
Thanks for adding this one more thing to your day today. I really do think we’ll see the difference it makes.
With hope and respect,
Jewish Voice for Peace