Congress is close to passing a two-sentence amendment to a Senate trade bill, and a similar one attached to a House customs bill, that will entirely change the U.S.’s policy in regard to Israel and its illegal settlements. The amendments (offered by Senator Cardin and Representative Roskam) are framed as a righteous slap on the hand of the European countries participating in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS). But in truth, they also erase the Green Line completely by conflating Israel and its illegal settlements. When first considered, the amendment was heatedly debated because it will in fact limit our trade relations with any country participating in BDS. But the most controversial part regarding the phrase “Israel and Israeli controlled territories” went without debate. It will be the first time in history that U.S. law conflates Israel and the settlements. Radical anti-Palestinian, pro-Israel maneuvers in Congress are never in want of friends and supporters. Illinois’s own Rep. Peter Roskam got major play in the Wall Street Journal (don’t click on this link!) selling this amendment as a way to beat back BDS movements in Europe. But we are not fooled, Mr. Roskam. The sum total of these amendments is not about BDS, but is a fundamental, monumental, unprecedented shift in U.S. Policy legitimizing Israeli settlements. Join AAI’s campaign to tell your Representatives to remove the amendments.

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