HomeIssuesIsrael-PalestineBDSSenate/House bill would make it a felony to support a boycott of Israel.
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Thanks Subir.

Wyden has been more and more disappointing as time goes by.



To me, this smacks of suppressing free speech too. Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept mentioned the ACLU had written Senate members, urging them not to support this bill:

ACLU posted a letter it sent to all members of the Senate urging them to oppose this bill. Warning that “proponents of the bill are seeking additional co-sponsors,” the civil liberties group explained that “it would punish individuals for no reason other than their political beliefs.”



t is no small thing for the ACLU to insert itself into this controversy. One of the most traumatic events in the organization’s history was when it lost large numbers of donors and supporters in the late 1970s after it defended the free speech rights of neo-Nazis to march through Skokie, Illinois, a town with a large community of Holocaust survivors.

Even the bravest of organizations often steadfastly avoid any controversies relating to Israel. Yet here, while appropriately pointing out that the ACLU “takes no position for or against the effort to boycott Israel or any foreign country,” the group categorically denounces this AIPAC-sponsored proposal for what it is: a bill that “seeks only to punish the exercise of constitutional rights.”

The ACLU has similarly opposed bipartisan efforts at the state level to punish businesses that participate in the boycott, pointing out that “boycotts to achieve political goals are a form of expression that the Supreme Court has ruled are protected by the First Amendment’s protections of freedom of speech, assembly, and petition,” and that such bills “place unconstitutional conditions on the exercise of constitutional rights.” The bill now co-sponsored in Congress by more than half of the House and close to half of the Senate is far more extreme than those.

The Intercept asked Senator Cardin to comment on the bill, and discovered he knew very little what was in the bill.

Perhaps most stunning is our interview with the primary sponsor of the bill, Democratic Sen. Benjamin Cardin, who seemed to have no idea what was in his bill, particularly insisting that it contains no criminal penalties.

One can read the rest of the Intercept’s article here: https://theintercept.com/2017/07/19/u-s-lawmakers-seek-to-criminally-outlaw-support-for-boycott-campaign-against-israel/

It’s pretty scathing, but rightfully so.

Good post, Subir.

Subir, have you seen the play “Oslo” yet? I saw it last week while in NYC.


I agree Benny, about the freedom of speech issue on this one.


PS. I am deeply indebted to a fellow blogger who, years ago, shared their substantive knowledge of the history of anti-boycott laws with me.

And thank YOU Subir! For this post and for passing along some of what you know about anti-boycott laws.


Unbelievable. I’m calling Gillabrands office. If Israel stopped trying to turn Gaza into a 21st Century Warsaw Ghetto, stopped stealing Palestinian land and started getting along with it’s neighbors, the terrorists would have much less recruiting power. I’m sick and tired of America being Israel’s vassal state.


Gillibrand’s support of this has turned me off. I’m wondering how much AIPAC money she is getting.


Just called Wall Street $humer’s and Gillabrand’s offices to express my outrage at their support for this assault on our Freedom Of Speech. Asked the “what’s the difference between Warsaw 1943 and Gaza 2017 except for the uniforms?”…..crickets. I will NEVER, EVER vote for anyone who supports the further erosion of our Bill of Rights. smh


Figures with Bill Nelson–always been pro-Jew. Obviously these boycotts are beginning to take a bite out of Netanyaboob’s butt. T and R, Subir!!



I guess that this form of peaceful protest isn’t kosher.


I to have not use for Schiff


One of the most frightening aspects of this legislative effort is the number of people in our government who don’t immediately recognize that it is a violation of our Constitution. A couple of members responded to the letter from the ACLU and decided to hold off and do some thinking about it. Geez, are we in trouble!

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