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SHOCKER: Washington Post Publishes OpEd Critical of Pro-Israel Law Which Shuts Down BDS

21st Century Wire says…

It’s no secret that the US mainstream media enforces a very tight party line when it comes to saying anything about Israel. Generally speaking, any criticism of the ‘Jewish State’ normally ends up in the editorial waste bin.

The reason for this should be academic by now: powerful Israeli Lobby exists in Washington and with satellite branches across the US and Canada. The lobby’s attack apparatus regularly coordinate media incursions and smear campaigns against any publication or journalist who dares to break rank and criticize Israel’s appalling human rights record, endless violations of international law and flagrant ignorance of multiple UN resolutions. It consists mainly of the following organizations: the Anti-Defamation League (which devotes a large portion of its time and resources to defaming people it seeks to discredit), the quasi Masonic organization and godfather of the Jewish political attack organs B’nai B’rith International, and of course, the ADL’s ugly step child, the dubious ‘NGO’ Southern Poverty Law Center. These organizations enforce their strict public relations code through a collection of tactics like threats and boycotts, including targeting a publication’s advertisers and sponsors, or featuring a journalist, media pundit, author or academic on one of their many ‘Hate Lists’, and by lobbing the standard charge of antisemitism against anyone who sounds remotely critical of Israel and its many failings.

This week,

On the Israeli payroll: US Senator Tom Cotton.

What this also demonstrates is how easily US Senators will disregard the US Constitution for a few hundred thousand dollars stuffed into their campaign bank accounts by a foreign lobby. You can see their financials here and here.

It’s left many onlookers asking: what’s going on at the Amazon Post? The article is certainly measured and very careful in its wording, but the fact that it was allowed to appear at all might indicate that the deep state is loosening its restrictions on speech on Israeli issues in the US mainstream media. We hope this is the trend anyway, although maybe not if the ADL, B’nai B’rith, and the SPLC have anything to say about it.

By far, this is the biggest attempt yet by Israel at hijacking the US democratic system, albeit from within. If this bill passes, it will mark the near end of what remains of the sovereignty of the United States of America. That is no exaggeration.

Here’s the OpEd…

This piece of pro-Israel legislation is a serious threat to free speech

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By David Cole and Faiz Shakir

The right to boycott has a long history in the United States, from the American Revolution to Martin Luther King Jr.’s Montgomery bus boycott to the campaign for divestment from businesses serving apartheid South Africa.

Nowadays we celebrate those efforts. But precisely because boycotts are such a powerful form of expression, governments have long sought to interfere with them — from King George III to the police in Alabama, and now to the U.S. Congress.

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act, legislation introduced in the Senate by Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) and in the House by Peter J. Roskam (R-Ill.), would make it a crime to support or even furnish information about a boycott directed at Israel or its businesses called by the United Nations, the European Union or any other “international governmental organization.” Violations would be punishable by civil and criminal penalties of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison. The American Civil Liberties Union, where we both work, takes no position for or against campaigns to boycott Israel or any other foreign country. But since our organization’s founding in 1920, the ACLU has defended the right to collective action. This bill threatens that right.

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act is designed to stifle efforts to protest Israel’s settlement policies by boycotting businesses in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. The bill’s particular target is the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, a global campaign that seeks to apply economic and political pressure on Israel to comply with international law.

Whether one approves or disapproves of the BDS movement itself, people should have a right to make up their own minds about it. Americans engage in boycotts every day when they decide not to buy from companies whose practices they oppose. Students have boycotted companies that sold clothing manufactured in sweatshops abroad. Environmentalists have boycotted Nestlé for its deforestation practices. By using their power in the marketplace, consumers can act collectively to express their political points of view. There is nothing illegal about such collective action; indeed, it is constitutionally protected.

In NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., the Supreme Court in 1982 upheld the right of NAACP activists to hold a mass economic boycott of segregated businesses in Mississippi. The court stated that the boycotters’ exercise of their rights to “speech, assembly, and petition . . . to change a social order that had consistently treated them as second-class citizens” rested “on the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values.”

This is not to say that all boycotters are automatically free speech heroes; indeed, BDS advocates have themselves at times shut down Israeli academics or speakers to the detriment of academic freedom. Thus, it’s understandable that free speech advocates might not immediately identify BDS supporters as victims of censorship. But when government takes sides on a particular boycott and criminalizes those who engage in a boycott, it crosses a constitutional line.

Cardin and other supporters argue that the Israel Anti-Boycott Act targets only commercial activity. In fact, the bill threatens severe penalties against any business or individual who does not purchase goods from Israeli companies operating in the occupied Palestinian territories and who makes it clear — say by posting on Twitter or Facebook — that their reason for doing so is to support a U.N.- or E.U.-called boycott. That kind of penalty does not target commercial trade; it targets free speech and political beliefs. Indeed, the bill would prohibit even the act of giving information to a U.N. body about boycott activity directed at Israel.

The bill’s chilling effect would be dramatic — and that is no doubt its very purpose. But individuals, not the government, should have the right to decide whether to support boycotts against practices they oppose. Neither individuals nor businesses should have to fear million-dollar penalties, years in prison and felony convictions for expressing their opinions through collective action. As an organization, we take no sides on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But regardless of the politics, we have and always will take a strong stand when government threatens our freedoms of speech and association. The First Amendment demands no less.

See the original article at the Washington Post

READ MORE ISRAEL NEW AT: 21st Century Wire Israel Files

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