AAI Welcomes House Resolution 496

Posted by Tess Waggoner on July 17, 2019 in Blog


CONTACT: Tess Waggoner


(202) 429-9210 

July 17, 2019 

WASHINGTON- Today, AAI welcomes the introduction of H.Res.496, which affirms the First Amendment-protected right of all Americans to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad.

The right to boycott is central to the political expression envisioned by the Founders when the First Amendment was added to the Constitution. Americans have a long and proud history of boycotts, from the Boston Tea Party to opposing apartheid in South Africa, and includes the instrumental Civil Rights Era boycotts...

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Tell your Congressperson to Co-Sponsor, Support H.Res.496

Posted by Tess Waggoner on July 17, 2019 in Blog
H.Res.496 which affirms the First Amendment-protected right of all Americans to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad, and that includes advocacy for Palestinian human rights.
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The Umpteenth Attack on BDS

You know the story by now: Lawmakers eager to pander to Israel pass unconstitutional bills to suppress the right of American citizens to engage in political boycotts against Israel or its illegal settlements, then the courts strike them down over violations of the First Amendment (as they did in Texas, Arizona and Kansas), and then the pandering lawmakers tweak the bills to make them harder to challenge in court. Well, here we are again, with H.Res. 246, a bill that demonizes the BDS Campaign with a variety of false accusations, but which stops short of prescribing specific...

TAKE ACTION: Tell Chairman Engel not to Advance Anti-BDS Resolution

Posted by Omar Baddar on July 10, 2019 in Blog


From the tea boycott of the American revolution to the Montgomery bus boycott of the civil rights movement, political boycotts have been a fundamental part of our country’s progress, and the right to engage in these boycotts is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

In recent years, however, there have been many unconstitutional efforts to punish U.S. citizens who protest Israel’s human rights violations by boycotting Israel or its illegal settlements. For example, a town in Texas once required those seeking Hurricane assistance to certify that they don’t boycott Israel to qualify for such assistance....

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Chicken and BDS in Texas

Posted by Ryan Suto on June 12, 2019 in Blog

Last month, Texas passed a new anti-boycott law after the 2017 version was blocked from enforcement in federal court for its unconstitutional provisions. The Arab American Institute has seen this before: in March, we testified against a revamped anti-boycott bill in Arizona after a federal court blocked the original 2016 law. Texas’s new law looks striking similar to Arizona’s new law, which still violates protected political expression.

In fact, the Center for Public Integrity recently found, as part of their

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Maya Berry Participates in FMEP Panel on Palestinian Citizens of Israel

Posted by Tess Waggoner on June 12, 2019 in Blog

On June 11, 2019 AAI co-sponsored a panel discussion called, "The Deal of the Century: What About Palestinian Citizens of Israel?" with the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP) and the Mossawa Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for Arab citizens and residents of Israel. AAI Executive Director Maya Berry was joined for a panel discussion by Jafar Farah, the director of the Mossawa Center, Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development and a non-resident senior fellow at the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution, and Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street. The conversation was moderated by FMEP...

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Why the US “Workshop” For Palestinians Will Fail

Posted on June 01, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

Twenty-five years ago, I moderated the panel discussion on the Palestinian economy at the international economic summit in Casablanca, Morocco. I was there in my capacity as co-chair of Builders for Peace (BfP), a project created by Vice-President Al Gore to help grow the Palestinian economy in support of the still-fledgling Oslo peace process. I learned a great deal both at the Casablanca Summit and in my more than three years with BfP and it is from that vantage point that I want to comment on the Trump Administration's proposal to sponsor an economic "workshop"...

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Irish Affinity for Palestinians Runs Deep

Posted on May 25, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

It is always gratifying to see the strength of Irish solidarity with the people of Palestine. This was brought home again last week during a visit to Ireland. While Eurovision was in Tel Aviv, a coalition of Irish Senators, non-governmental groups, and entertainers held a counter-concert "Palestine: You're A Vision" – to demonstrate Irish "solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people living under occupation, under siege, or in exile." And while in Dublin, we met with political leaders preparing for the final parliamentary vote, later this summer, on a bill to ban products originating in...

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US Complicity in Israel’s Violations of International Law

Posted on May 18, 2019 in Washington Watch

By Dr. James J. Zogby

Last week I addressed a United Nations Security Council meeting on "Israeli Settlements." Because I knew other speakers, experts and diplomats, would address the illegality of Israeli settlements, the economic and human rights impact on the Palestinian people, and the stated design of the entire settlement enterprise to eliminate the possibility of a viable and contiguous Palestinian state – I focused my remarks on my government's role in enabling Israel's settlements and its complicity in Israel's violations of international law. This may seem like harsh language, but when nothing is done to stop an activity...

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James Zogby Speaks Before UN Security Council on Israeli Settlements

Posted by Tess Waggoner on May 10, 2019 in Blog

James Zogby was invited by the nations of Indonesia, Kuwait and South Africa to participate in the United Nations Security Council Arria-Formula Meeting they convened. Titled, “Israeli-Settlements and Settlers: Core of the occupation, protection crisis and obstruction of peace,” the meeting was held at 3.00 p.m. on May 9, 2019. 

The meeting was chaired by Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and sought to, "allow for discussions on international responsibilities to uphold the law and internationally agreed norms and principles, including in regards to the prohibitions on the acquisition of territory by force; the right of peoples to self-determination...

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