Reading George Fox

More on the Israel Anti-Boycott Act

I wrote this in a response to my friend Jillian on Facebook, but figured it should be here as well.

So, the Senate is considering a bill outlawing supporting any boycott movement against Israel and our senators, Schumer and Gillibrand, are both co-sponsors (plus it has a Democrat sponsor in the first place. Ugh.)

Among other things, the bill prohibits US citizens from “supporting any boycott fostered or imposed by an international organization, or requesting imposition of any such boycott, against Israel.”

It’s a bit hard to find, but the bill refers to 50 U.S. Code § 1705 for penalties and they include:

A person who willfully commits, willfully attempts to commit, or willfully conspires to commit, or aids or abets in the commission of, an unlawful act described in subsection (a) shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $1,000,000, or if a natural person, may be imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both.

Even if you disagree with the BDS movement (which I don’t), I would think this bill would appear monstrous! 20 years in prison for a political act! (And the bill explicitly refers to supporting a boycott as political. One would think they would make the connection to free speech).

I called both Schumer and Gillibrand, telling them that I was furious and that I would expect such a bill from the Republicans, not the supposedly liberal party. I had been thinking of supporting Gillibrand in 2020 if she ran for the Democratic nomination, but, unless she changes her mind, this nixes that idea.

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