AIPAC is flailing

Activists w/ Baltimore-Palestine Solidarity protest the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. Credit: Elizabeth Woodson.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is flailing to salvage one of its legislative priorities, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. Thanks to your efforts, the bill’s momentum has been stalled – for now. But we cannot let our guard down. AIPAC is back on Capitol Hill today to lobby for this draconian bill, and we need you to take action now.

Members of Congress need to continue to hear from you, opposing the Israel Anti-Boycott Act and supporting Palestinian rights. AIPAC’s big lobbying push today is to renew momentum on this bill, which could imprison people for 20 years for supporting an international organization’s boycott of Israel or its illegal settlements.

No matter how many times you have contacted your Members of Congress about this bill, please pick up the phone right now to state your opposition to this unconstitutional legislation. (When you click, we will let you know if your Members of Congress support the bill or not, and provide you talking points for your calls.)

Pro-Israel organizations are failing to stop BDS from becoming a mainstream way to advocate for Palestinian rights, and so are turning to state and federal lawmakers in a heavy-handed, McCarthyite attempt to shut us down. After initially picking up a lot of support (especially from Republicans), the Israel Anti-Boycott Act has hit a wall in recent months. In July, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) came out in strong opposition to the bill.

During the August Congressional recess, Palestine solidarity activists made their presence felt at town hall meetings across the country, confronting Members of Congress who seek to deny our constitutionally protected right to boycott. As a result of this grassroots activism, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) formally withdrew her sponsorship of this AIPAC-sponsored bill – an unprecedented move.

And we have more great news on the right to boycott. Last week, the ACLU filed a groundbreaking lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of an anti-BDS law in Kansas that seeks to punish individuals who support Palestinian rights through BDS campaigns. If the courts agree with the ACLU that this law violates the First Amendment, a huge precedent could be set affecting anti-BDS laws across the country.

Through our continued BDS campaigning, as well as political and legal challenges to anti-BDS legislation, we are turning the tide on these unconstitutional efforts and asserting our right to boycott for freedom, justice, and equality for Palestinians.

Thank you for picking up the phone today to counter AIPAC’s efforts to stifle BDS in Congress.


Policy Director

PS: The reason pro-Israel legislators are pushing anti-BDS legislation is precisely because of the effectiveness of BDS as tactics for change. Register now for our webinar TONIGHT on an important BDS target: Israeli Faithwashing, which is a tool of Zionist groups to promote the idea that the path to peace is through Palestinians (supposedly representing Muslims) and Israelis (supposedly representing Jews) coming together in interfaith dialogue. Learn how faithwashing is used to stifle Palestine organizing, whitewash Israeli apartheid, and erase the existence of Palestinian Christians, Druze, Samaritans, and other religious groups. Register now and see you tonight!