On Friday, Palestine Legal and over 100 national and state-based organizations urged Congress to reject the unconstitutional Israel Anti-Boycott Act. In a memo, the groups outlined their concerns, stating that although recent amendments to the bill “alleviate its most draconian aspects, [they] do not solve its underlying constitutional infirmities.”
The bill would prohibit companies, organizations and their employees from participating in, or even furnishing information about, a boycott of Israel called for by an international governmental organization like the European Union or the United Nations. If enacted, violations would be punishable with severe criminal financial penalties.
The bill remains at its essence an attack on political speech, including support for certain boycotts for Palestinian rights, as its supporters have made clear. Participation in and support for political boycotts is protected by the First Amendment, as the U.S. Supreme Court held in the 1982 case, NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., and as a federal court in Kansas recently affirmed in issuing a preliminary injunction blocking that state from enforcing an anti-boycott law.
Click here to read our memo.
Contact your Member of Congress here.
Palestine Legal Staff Attorney Rahul Saksena and Rabbi Joseph Berman of Jewish Voice for Peace discuss the revised Israel anti-boycott legislation and how it is really a "Gag Law."