With the partisan divide over Israel growing among Americans, the Republican Party appears ready to pounce on what they see as an opportunity to gain political advantage, seeking to paint their Democratic counterparts as anti-Israel with all sorts of little ploys. To see what it looks like when a Democrat panics in the face of one of those ploys and starts overcompensating, watch DNC Chairman Tom Perez receive a question about anti-Semitism and respond by addressing... Israel and the two-state solution (cringe alert). While we genuinely appreciate Chairman Perez talking about the dignity of the Palestinian people, that was not the question and in the trap he went. But others are less panicky about the Israel game, including every major Democratic presidential hopeful, all of whom have put the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution above pandering on Israel, by voting against S.1. They were joined by Republican Rand Paul in opposing the bill, because it undermines free speech by authorizing punitive measures against Americans who participate in boycotts of Israel or its settlements. On a more depressing note, the bill did pass anyway, with a vote of 77-23. The ACLU said it best: “It's a sad day when the Senate chooses politics over the Constitution and tramples on the First Amendment rights of all Americans.” Even though it passed the Senate, word is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not playing on this one (the “one” being S.1-The Pander to Israel Straight Out of the Gate Bill While Violating the First Amendment Act). It’s not really called that but you get it and we hope the House members do too.

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