USCPR Policy Director Josh Ruebner Discusses the Israel Anti-Boycott Act
USCPR Policy Director and author of “Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace” Josh Ruebner joins the Scott Horton Show to discuss his latest article “New US bill would punish settlement boycotters.”
Ruebner explains how the act would criminalize U.S. corporations and individuals for supporting or furthering the impact of a boycott against Israel. Despite obvious major free speech restrictions the bill has support from both Democrats and Republicans, many of whom are already backing off their commitment to the bill. What’s really disturbing about the bill according to Ruebner is that companies could be criminalized even if their business decisions had the effect, but not intent, of furthering a boycott on Israel. Beyond that, if the bill became law, Attorney General Jeff Sessions would have the power to throw someone in jail ostensibly for their political beliefs. Ruebner explains how the bill has already created blowback against AIPAC and Israel: Constituents are pressing members of Congress on this issue for the first time and the progressive wing of the Democratic party is feeling more emboldened to speak out in support of the Palestinians, making it clear that the base of democratic voters no longer on board with Israeli policy of the past. Finally, Ruebner discusses the necessary conditions for a political solution between Israel and Palestine and how the BDS movement has successfully convinced companies to divest from Israel.