On May 29, 2015, Abraham Foxman, then the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, authored an op-ed published by the JTA, entitled, "Comprehensive approach to fighting BDS is needed."  With respect to the question of legislation seeking to quash BDS and other activism critical of Israel - both at the state and federal levels - Foxman notes (among other things):

Legislation that bars BDS activity by private groups, whether corporations or universities, strikes at the heart of First Amendment-protected free speech, will be challenged in the courts and is likely to be struck down. A decision by a private body to boycott Israel, as despicable as it may be, is protected by our Constitution. Perhaps in Europe, where hate speech laws exist and are acceptable within their own legal frameworks, such bills could be sustained. But not here in America.

Full text of that op-ed is included below, or can be viewed on the JTA website.

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APN today released the following statement in connection with the appointment of Steve Bannon to the Trump White House, and in connection to the wave of anti-Semitic acts and other hateful rhetoric and aggression targeting vulnerable groups in America:

Americans for Peace Now (APN) – America’s veteran Jewish, Zionist, pro-peace organization – unequivocally condemns the appointment of Steve Bannon as senior advisor and chief strategist in the White House. Bannon is unfit to serve in the White House or in any part of the government of this great nation. This judgment is not about political or policy disagreements. It is about basic American and Jewish values. It is about the poisonous racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and other vile hate-mongering that grew alongside and in support of the campaign of President-elect Donald Trump. It is about the failure of President-elect Trump and his surrogates to meaningfully reject and condemn this trend and its adherents; indeed, it is about the President-elect appearing to actively court and encourage them. The naming of Bannon as a top advisor in the Trump White House – an act celebrated by the “alt-right” as a clear victory for their odious agenda – is the personification of this phenomenon.

APN likewise condemns, vehemently and unequivocally, the decision by some Jewish groups and prominent individuals to ignore, tolerate, whitewash, and even justify anti-Semitism and hate-mongering – both now, with the Bannon appointment, and over the course of the Trump campaign. Their decision to do so reflects a dangerous perversion of the very concept of what it means to be “pro-Israel.” Their failure to speak out today is the culmination of years of efforts to transform support for Israel into an extremist ideology of its own – an ideology that prioritizes fealty to hardline, pro-settlement, anti-peace Israeli positions over all else, including over defending core Jewish values, like tolerance and respect for human rights and human dignity, and even over standing up to the scourge of anti-Semitism that has plagued our people for generations.

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APN’s Proud Record on BDS

As an organization dedicated to peace and security for Israel – and committed to the belief that Israel has a right to exist and that its legitimacy as a state is beyond question – APN has wrestled with the challenge posed by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS). We have studied both the BDS movement and the efforts to combat it. We have listened closely to arguments and narratives of BDS proponents and detractors. And while APN firmly opposes BDS targeting Israel, we have concluded that many anti-BDS efforts are misguided and counter-productive.

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APN policy on BDS-Related Legislation (Federal & State)

On May 19, 2016, the Executive Committee of APN's Board of Directors unanimously adopted the following policy regarding ongoing efforts in the U.S. Congress and in various state capitals to pass legislation dealing with BDS and the occupation.

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Reclaiming U.S. Leadership, Reclaiming Israel’s Future: A Call to Action

The recent Iran nuclear agreement is tangible evidence that determined diplomacy, backed by international cooperation, resolute leadership, and concrete, sustained engagement, has the potential to overcome and resolve even the toughest challenges in the international arena. Now, with the Iran deal having survived the Congressional review period, the Obama Administration – together with its allies in the international community – must return their focus and efforts to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which represents a far more existential threat to Israel that Iran ever did – putting at risk its future as a democracy and a Jewish state.

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APN Weighs in on BDS, Criticism of Israel [Updated 2013]

In the context of surging efforts to promote -- and block -- boycott/divestment/sanctions efforts, and in the context of a serious debate within Israel and the Jewish community about how to deal with growing international criticism of Israel, we believe it is important to make clear what APN does, and does not, support.

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APN Weighs in on BDS, Criticism of Israel

APN today released new policy language on the recently increasing growing public criticism of Israel, including the efforts to boycott Israel, divest from it and sanction it (known as the BDS movement).  The purpose of the new document is to clarify the often foggy discussion over this issue in America's pro-Israel community and to make clear what APN supports and opposes.  the full text of the policy is included after the break.

APN on the BDS movement and Criticism of Israel


In the context of surging efforts to promote - and block - boycott/divestment/sanctions efforts, and in the context of a serious debate within Israel and the Jewish community about how to deal with growing international criticism of Israel, we believe it is important to make clear what we do, and do not, support.

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