Pro & Con: House Bill 2179, a State Bill Set to Penalize Companies Boycotting Israel


USCPR Director of Organizing and Advocacy, Anna Baltzer, appears on St. Louis on the Air with Don Marsh to discuss the potential impact of yet another state law that would violate the First Amendment-protected right to boycott. Listen to her perspective on why the bill should be stopped.


Anna Baltzer’s main points as to why she opposes the bill
1. “Discriminatory, unjust system” in Palestine led to the call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS).
2. The bill would exceptionalize Israel’s apartheid practices in the region.
3. “This argument that it’s going to harm Palestinians is exactly the same argument that was used against the BDS movement in apartheid South Africa … Palestinians are perfectly capable of building their own society.”
4. BDS intentionally does not target Israeli individuals to avoid denial of freedom of speech, but US legislation penalizing boycotts does limit First Amendment.
5. “The people of St. Louis City and County alone are giving $21 million in weapons to Israel over the next 10 years … that’s why we need to take actions like boycott, to end our own complicity to say, ‘No, we don’t want any more dollars going to [Israel].”