Democrat Ben Cardin, a senator from Maryland and a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is determined to sneak through anti-BDS legislation during the lame duck session of Congress.
Most Americans are either ignorant or vaguely aware of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions aimed at Israel for its criminal treatment of the Palestinians. This is because the movement is scantily covered by the corporate propaganda media, but also because millions of Americans couldn’t care less what happens to the Palestinians, even though the Israeli military and its ethnic cleansing program are funded in large part by their tax dollars.
Liberty is dead in America. Prior to the American Revolution, the colonies boycotted British goods. In 1774, the First Continental Congress called for a boycott and this was enforced by new committees authorized by the Congress.
Boycotts are legend—from Gandhi organizing a boycott of British goods to the bus boycotts in Montgomery and Tallahassee during the Civil Rights movement. The predecessors of today’s Zionists used a boycott to stop the importation of German products in the US, Britain, Poland, and Mandatory Palestine. Additionally, Jews imposed a boycott on Henry Ford in the 1920s.
All of that is largely forgotten, mostly because Americans don’t do history and their political understanding is sculpted and curtailed by the state and its propaganda media. The corporate media has managed to portray BDS as rabid antisemitism.
But then, in America and especially Europe, any criticism of the Israeli apartheid state is considered a form of hatred—more egregious than all other hatred—that leads ultimately to the gates of Auschwitz.
The anti-BDS push has thus far infected 25 states. In 2017, this mania and support for the international renegade state of Israel resulted in a city in Texas requiring businesses to certify that they would not boycott Israel before receiving hurricane aid.
Ryan Grim and Alex Emmons write that the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which was introduced last year by Cardin and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, would amend the 1979 Export Administration Act to allow penalties for companies who join boycotts of Israel called for by international institutions—like the United Nations or the European Union. The new version clarifies that people cannot face jail time for participating in a boycott, but the ACLU has argued that it still leaves the door open for criminal financial penalties. Defenders of the bill say that it is strictly aimed at preventing companies from facing pressure to boycott Israel and that it is not meant to restrict an individual’s free speech.”
Eradicating the First Amendment comes in second to protecting Israel and its slow-motion ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. If you criticize Israel for its repeated violations of international law, you will face harassment—as I discovered back in the late 2000s. I received death threats and harassing phone calls at my place of employment at that time for the crime of taking the little apartheid state to task on my blog.
At one point, an email arrived with an image attachment—my face photoshopped on the body of Julius Streicher, the founder and publisher of Der Stürmer, a Nazi newspaper. Streicher was one of the most virulent antisemites of the Nazi party. He was executed at Nuremberg. This sort of nasty and hysterical behavior is what critics of Israel face on a regular basis.
If Cardin manages to attach his anti-liberty amendment to S. 720, an end-of-the-year omnibus spending bill, this will further embolden supporters of Israel to not only criminalize free speech, but physically go after critics.