Israeli Official Distorts CA Law To Stop Sister City Proposal

 ALAMEDANS PICTURED WITH RESIDENTS OF WADI FOQUIN. Photo: Wadi Foquin Sister City Committee. 

ALAMEDANS PICTURED WITH RESIDENTS OF WADI FOQUIN. Photo: Wadi Foquin Sister City Committee. 

The Israeli deputy consul general erroneously told the City of Alameda, California that establishing a sister city relationship with a Palestinian village would run afoul of state law. This is the latest effort by the Israeli state and its proxy organizations in the U.S. to distort local civil rights laws to chill advocacy on behalf of Palestinians.

Palestine Legal wrote to the City of Alameda, urging the city to disregard the baseless legal threat.

In December 2017, the Alameda City Council was set to consider a proposal from church activists to establish a sister city relationship between Alameda and a Palestinian village, Wadi Foquin. Israeli Deputy Consul General Ravit Baer wrote an email to oppose the proposal urging, among other things, that the sister city agreement would be used to promote boycotts for Palestinian rights, and thus might be “against California law.” In response, the city council indefinitely delayed consideration of the proposal.

The law cited by the Israeli official – California Assembly Bill (AB) 2844 – has no bearing on the sister city proposal, as Palestine Legal explained to Alameda officials. The law is irrelevant first because a sister city agreement is not a boycott. Second, even if residents of Alameda were considering a boycott, AB 2844 does not – and cannot – prohibit boycotts for Palestinian rights because such boycotts are protected free speech under the U.S. Constitution.

Read Palestine Legal’s letter to the City of Alameda here.

Read Palestine Legal’s “Frequently Asked Questions: California’s AB 2844 and the Right to Boycott” here.