Israel Lobby fixture, the American Jewish Committee, has concocted a letter denouncing BDS (full letter here) and secured the signatures of tens of governors. Virtually every claim in the letter is either outright falsehood or distortion.
Two Washington State lawmakers have petitioned Gov. Inslee to sign the letter. Now is the time to advise him that this is a serious mistake:
Please call, and ask every person in your networks to call Governor Jay Inslee not to sign the anti-BDS Governors’ letter being delivered to his office TODAY!
We need calls in to Governor Jay Inslee TODAY telling him not to sign a letter against the BDS Movement being circulated and submitted by two WA State Senators. The Governor might receive this letter as soon as this afternoon, so immediate responses are crucial.
This anti-BDS letter is being rolled out now to pressure lawmakers to pass an announced bill to ban BDS from WA campuses, so it’s really important we push back NOW.
Please call, even if you only have time for a brief message.
If folks don’t know what to say, here’s some talking points people can use:
-I am outraged to learn that Gov. Inslee is being asked to sign a Governor’s letter against the BDS Movement.
-That letter will ask the Governor to take a against stand First Amendment rights and social justice boycotts.
-Please do not sign or otherwise support that Governors’ letter against the BDS Movement.
-The anti-BDS letter is one of several attacks being mounted in the Washington State Legislature during this session.
-These attacks target the free speech rights of US citizens in an attempt to curb criticism of Israeli policies.
-Whatever your views on Israel, Palestine, the anti-boycott letter does not deserve your support, because it threatens our right to take collective action against injustice.
-The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that boycotts are a form of expression protected by the First Amendment.
-Boycott campaigns have a long and proud history in social justice and civil rights movements in the US.
-The BDS call is modeled after the South African boycott and thus calls for broad boycotts against Israeli institutions, nothing in it calls for discrimination against individuals solely because of their national origin, religion, or ethnicity.
-Many legal experts say that anti-boycott bills are unconstitutional, continued attacks on BDS are being mounted at the state and federal level across the United States.
-Please refuse to sign, endorse or support the Governor’s letter or any legislation against boycott, free speech, and BDS.
Another State legislator is about to introduce a bill which would outlaw BDS on state university campuses. If the schools didn’t comply they could lose state funding.
“The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that boycotts are a form of expression protected by the First Amendment.”
True. But these anti-boycott laws do not prohibit or penalize any kind of speech. Proponents of boycotting Israel are free to call for such boycotts, encourage others to join them, and participate in them.
The First Amendment allows states to place conditions on doing business with them, such as anti-discrimination restrictions on government contractors, which are commonplace and a normal requirement for government funding. For instance, the federal and state governments often require contractors and subcontractors to not discriminate on, among other things, “the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Richard Silverstein says
@ Ben: You have reached your 3 comment per day limit. Observe this limit in future as well.
BDS has nothing to do with discrimination unless you wish to claim that it is in the very nature of the State of Israel to violate international law. Since this is absurd, the Boycott is clearly in response to Israel’s flagrant violations of such law over many decades.
If the Montgomery Bus Boycott was legal so is BDS.
BDS is off topic in this thread. Do not comment further in this thread.
Richard Silverstein says
@ Ben: Of course anti-BDS laws penalize speech. They say that if a company supports BDS they will be disqualified from doing business with the state.
There is no ethnic, religious or national discriminaton of any sort in BDS. It is focussed on Israel violating international law and doesn’t discriminate against Israel on the basis of it being intrinsically immoral by its very nature. BDS lays out very clearly the policies which violate international law and calls for Israel to address and fix them. When it does so it will not longer face calls for BDS. If BDS were discriminating in a blanket fashion it would never agree to stop until Israel didn’t exist. And no one except your hasbara pals claims this to be the case.
Do not comment further in this thread.
….Clown doesn’t even have an answering machine!
Richard Silverstein says
@ Strelnikov: I bet he’s gotten so many calls he doesn’t want to answer the phone or record the messages!