Posted by Suher Adi on October 23, 2018 in Blog
While it has been accepted that political speech is protected through the First Amendment, the current political climate is challenging this notion. Anti-BDS legislation has been passed in 25 state legislatures and is also currently pending in 12 other states. There is also legislation on the federal level, both the “Anti-Semitism Awareness” and “Israel Anti-Boycott” acts have been introduced as attempts to silence Palestinian human rights activists. Most recently with the recent appointment of Kenneth Marcus to the head of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Education (ED), the current political climate has...Read more
Posted by Ryan Suto on January 10, 2018 in Blog
On 29 December the Jerusalem Post published an interview with the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. In that article, Friedman stated that reactions were "largely emotional" to the Trump administration's announcement of support to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
He went on to state: "We expected the reaction, although we were disappointed with some of the rhetoric, which was ugly, needlessly provocative and anti-Semitic [sic]". The anti-Semitism charge
Friedman does not elaborate how political disagreements with an international policy change constitute bigotry against Judaism as a religion or Jews as a people....Read more
Posted on August 12, 2017 in Washington Watch
by James J. Zogby It is fascinating to watch some US senators tripping over themselves as they attempt to defend their support for or opposition to proposed legislation that would make it a federal crime to support the international campaign to Boycott, Divest, or Sanction (BDS) Israel for its continued occupation of Palestinian lands. What ties these officials up in knots are their efforts to square the circle of their "love of Israel", their opposition to BDS, their support for a "two-state solution", and their commitment to free speech. The bill in question, S720, was introduced on...Read more
Posted on July 28, 2017 in Countdown Vol. 16 No. 21: Rise Above the Chaos
Last week, we told you about the ACLU’s letter urging members of Congress to refrain from cosponsoring the so-called “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” because American citizens have a constitutional right to boycott Israel if they want to (duh!). Subsequently, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH) responded to the ACLU, insisting that they were blowing things out of proportion when they said what we've been saying for years now, and claiming the bill “does [not] punish individuals or companies from [sic] refusing to do business with Israel based on their own political beliefs.” That’s...
Posted by Arab American Institute on March 09, 2017 in Blog
On March 8, 2017 the New York state Senate fast-tracked & passed three outrageous anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction) bills. These bills are an unconstitutional attack on our First Amendment freedom of speech and will have damaging effects on our efforts to organize around justice for Palestine both in our communities and on college campuses.
The Supreme Court has ruled that participating in a boycott is political speech and is protected by the U.S. Constitution. Historically, boycotts have played a major role in U.S. history and the Supreme Court has defended that constitutional right.
Now that these three...Read more