The anti-boycott laws pushed by right wing Jewish and evangelical organizations have resulted in a multi-state patchwork of anti-free speech laws that intentionally erase the (green) line between Israel and the occupied territories. While we continue to fight back in the states against these laws, it is vital that we work to prevent similar laws from being enacted at a federal level.
The latest attempt by Republicans in Congress is the reintroduction of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (H.R.6940). If enacted, this legislation will be used as a cudgel to punish Americans, in violation of our First Amendment rights. It intentionally erases the distinction between Israel and the occupied territories, creating a situation where those who attempt to differentiate between Israeli goods and those made in the settlements, such as the United Nations Human Rights Council’s database of companies doing business in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights in March 2016, will be in violation of this law.
The Israel Anti-Boycott Act not only undermines the distinction between Israel and the Palestinian territories, it also undermines the bedrock democratic principles that make up the foundation of our constitution. For the future of our democracy, it is vital that Congress not succeed in legislating against political speech. For a future two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is necessary that the distinction between sovereign Israel and the settlements be maintained.
Take action now to ask your Member of Congress to oppose efforts to conflate Israel with the territories it occupies and to penalize protected speech.