In the midst of the longest government shutdown in US history, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has prioritized – and tried repeatedly to advance – a bill which attempts to distract from the shutdown by playing political football with Israel-related legislation.
The bill, S.1, combines four pieces of Middle East-related legislation, including the highly problematic Combating BDS Act (CBA). Its purpose of the CBA is to encourage state and local governments to adopt legislation which penalizes companies and individual contractors that choose to boycott Israel and/or Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The ACLU has filed suits against this legislation in a number of states, resulting (so far) in injunctions issued by two federal district courts, which ruled that these state laws violate the constitutionally protected right to boycott.
The legislation also conflates “Israel and Israeli-controlled territories,” attempting to blur the distinction between the two, legitimating Israeli settlements in the West Bank and securing them against protests.
So far, Senator McConnell has attempted to advance S.1 three times. Undeterred by defeat, he has entered a motion for a fourth vote. As this fight continues, let’s show the legislators who voted against advancing S.1 that they have our support.