Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Ziofascist Legislation Creep in the US

On 23/7/17, in my post First They Came for the Palestinians, I drew attention to Glenn Greenwald's ominous essay, US lawmakers seek to criminally outlaw support for boycott campaign against Israel, in which he warned that "the criminalization of political speech and activism against Israel has become one of the gravest threats to free speech in the West," and went on to analyse the circumstances around the introduction of a bipartisan, AIPAC-drafted, Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720) into the US Senate, noting in particular its foreshadowing of maximum criminal penalties of $1 million and 20 years in prison for Americans supporting the international boycott of Israel.

So where are we now with this piece of Ziofascist legislation creep, almost one year on? Here's an update from theintercept.com's Alex Emmons, New house bill would empower Donald Trump to punish US companies that boycott Israel (29/6/18):

"The House Committee on Foreign Affairs unanimously passed a measure on Thursday that would give the Trump administration power to decide how to punish US companies that engage in or promote boycotts of Israel - including through criminal penalties. The committee passed an amendment... from Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif, that largely replaced the text of... the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. When the original legislation was first introduced last year, it drew outrage from activists, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) warned that by threatening to impose steep criminal penalties on boycott activists engaged with international bodies' boycotts, the bill was unconstitutional.

"After the uproar, the initial bill... lost momentum. But Royce's effort to move his version out of the Foreign Affairs Committee is part of a push to reinvigorate Capitol Hill's efforts to use statutory means to clamp down on the growing movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state for human rights violations against the Palestinians. Pro-Palestinian activists said Royce's amendment, despite being an attempt to work around civil liberties concerns, could be the most dangerous version of the bill yet, because it delegates the lawmaking power to the Trump administration...

"Royce's amendment rewrites the bill to direct the administration to issue regulations that prohibit US companies from involvement with the BDS movement... The bill covers those companies that attempt to 'comply with, further, or support' UN or EU calls for a boycott of Israel... [It] requires them to be 'consistent with the enforcement practices' of the 1979 Export Administration Act - which allows for a range of civil and criminal penalties stopping out at a maximum of $1 million fine and 20 years in prison...

"According o the ACLU, 24 states have passed laws aimed at punishing the boycott movement, and more than 100 bills have been considered by state and local legislatures across the country."

Land of the free? You're kidding me!


Grappler said...

Off-topic MERC but has the ABC retracted its statement about OPCW find chlorine at the Douma site? I'm busy today so not a lot of time.

See here for discussion:


And look at Sid Finster's comment.

Note that BBC and Reuters significantly changed their headlines but even so they are way out of line with what OPCW states. In its technical notes on samples, it says repeatedly: "No chemicals relevant to CWC [Chemical Weapons Convention] have been found."

Grappler said...

On topic. This is bound to backfire. Americans are not known for their willingness to fall in line with authority - especially the deplorables. They will start to question why criticism of just one country is being stifled. I know Americans who were very very upset when someone tried to legislate against (US) flag burning.