Today the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is ending its annual policy conference and sending its advocates to Capitol Hill.
At the top of its agenda is lobbying Members of Congress to support the latest anti-boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) bill designed to try to stifle activism for Palestinian rights.
AIPAC delegates will be pushing their elected officials to cosponsor the Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S.720 and H.R.1697), introduced last week by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH), and Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Juan Vargas (D-CA).
This dangerous bill seeks to impose fines on corporations that boycott business dealings with illegal Israeli settlements or divest assets from corporations profiting from settlements. It also seeks to deny Export-Import Bank loans to corporations that similarly boycott or divest from such business dealings.
Please call and write your Members of Congress right now and ask them not to cosponsor the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.
Just click here and we’ll give you contact information and talking points.
Here are a few reasons why we need to oppose this bill:
• The Israel Anti-Boycott Act is an unconstitutional infringement on free speech. The Supreme Court has ruled that speech on public issues, including boycotts, “occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values.” This bill seeks to punish corporations which exercise that right.
• The bill is also a blatant attempt to legitimize and entrench Israel’s illegal settlements even though opposition to them has been a stated bipartisan position of every administration since 1967. The intent and effect of this bill is to encourage business with Israeli settlements and punish those who oppose doing so.
Read more about our reasons for opposing this bill and take action here.
The reason why AIPAC is pushing this bill is because BDS is working! But we can’t be complacent about our successes. Israel and its supporters are spending millions of dollars every year to try to shut down this activism for Palestinian rights.
This bill is part of that plan. If this bill is enacted into law, the US government will be engaging in some pretty heavy-handed efforts to prevent corporations from acceding to the calls from BDS proponents not to profit from Israeli human rights abuses of Palestinians.
Thousands of AIPAC supporters will be pushing for this goal today on Capitol Hill. Can you please take a few minutes to tell your Members of Congress why they shouldn’t support the Israel Anti-Boycott Act?
Thanks for taking action!
PS: Last Thursday, the Senate narrowly confirmed extremist David Friedman to be US ambassador to Israel, by a 52-46 vote. Thank you to the thousands of you who contacted your Senators to oppose his nomination.
Even though Friedman was confirmed, your advocacy worked. Your opposition was clearly reflected in Senators’ tough questioning of him during his nomination hearing and on the floor of the Senate itself.
In fact, Friedman got more no votes than all other prior ambassadors to Israel combined!
Find out how your Senators voted here and be sure to pick up the phone to let them know how you feel about their votes.