Friday, July 21, 2017

Criminalizing U.S. critics of Israel (video)

Amy Goodman (, 7-21-17);;; Sheldon S., Pat Macpherson, Seth Auberon, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
The BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions) Movement (

Criminalizing critics of Israel: Congress considers bills to fine and jail backers of BDS
BDS Movement:
U.S. lawmakers are seeking to criminally outlaw support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against [CIA-backed] Israel.

If a proposed bipartisan law is passed, backers of BDS could face up to 20 years in prison and a million-dollar fine.

Democracy Now! speaks to Rabbi Joseph Berman of Jewish Voice for Peace and Ryan Grim of The Intercept.

His latest article is titled "U.S. Lawmakers Seek to Criminally Outlaw Support for Boycott Campaign Against Israel."
TRANSCRIPT Shine a Light on Gaza (
Top stories (
HOST AMY GOODMAN: Civil rights groups are warning a pair of bipartisan bills targeting boycotts of Israel and Israeli settlements [in Palestine] would criminalize free speech and peaceful protest.

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act would make it a felony for U.S. citizens to support boycotts of Israel and Israeli settlements, punishable by at least a $250,000 fine, with a maximum penalty of a fine of $1 million and 20 years in prison.

So far 46 senators -- 31 Republican, 15 Democrat -- and 234 Congress members, from both sides of the aisle, support the legislation.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as AIPAC, reportedly helped craft the bill and has made its passage one of the group’s top lobbying priorities for the year.

In a letter Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, urged senators to oppose the bill’s passage. 

The ACLU wrote, "We take no position for or against the effort to boycott Israel or any foreign country, for that matter. However, we do assert that the government cannot, consistent with the First Amendment, punish U.S. persons based solely on their expressed political beliefs." More ()

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