I recently published an Op-Ed at JNS (also appearing in Israel Hayom) recapping lessons learned from the success of, and challenges to, state laws addressing anti-Israel boycotts. The Op-Ed is the result of research I have been doing for the Legal Insurrection Foundation on the issue.
Economic boycotts of Israel are part of the broader Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Thirty-five states now have laws barring the states from doing business with entities boycotting Israel – boycotting the boycotters. The ACLU and CAIR have challenged laws in six of the 35 states. The challenges, and court responses to them, reveal ways to improve the laws.
Readers should also keep a lookout for the Eighth Circuit’s decision in Arkansas Times v. Waldrip. The lower court originally upheld Arkansas’ anti-BDS law. The appellate court reversed, then vacated its decision and ordered reargument before the full panel of Eighth Circuit judges. The case was argued on September 21, 2021.
Here is an excerpt from my JNS article:
The post-Holocaust moratorium on openly expressing anti-Semitism is over. Even where blatant targeting of Jews remains unfashionable, it often flourishes masquerading as anti-Israelism. Its latest incarnation is the BDS campaign. States can and should help fight this stealthy discrimination.
Even as more Arab countries recognize Israel, Israel’s high-tech economy flourishes and competing Palestinian leaderships achieve nothing positive for their people, BDS warriors inside and outside the Middle East ramp up a rejectionist narrative painting Israel as a pariah and its supporters (read, “Jews”) as the devil’s handmaidens. The strategy is not just to harm Israel’s economy, but to destroy political and moral support for the continued existence of the world’s sole Jewish state. As for the goal, former BDS co-founder and
Hamasleader Omar Barghouti[*] explained: “definitely, most definitely, we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.” …
But many states are fighting back. Thirty-five of them have passed anti-BDS laws, resolutions or executive orders opposing boycott, divestment, and/or sanctions against Israel. Some are modeled on anti-boycott legislation the United States passed back in the 1970s to counteract the Arab boycott. U.S. law forbids taxpayers from participating in a foreign boycott of Israel.
Anti-Israel groups have targeted anti-BDS laws for extermination. In the course of litigation, they have shone a spotlight on the laws’ strengths and weaknesses. Here are some suggestions for strengthening anti-BDS legislation consistent with First Amendment rights.
Head over to the link for the suggestions.
[*note correction, there are two people of the same name, we are referring to the BDS leader]DONATE
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