Wednesday, November 16, 2016

House bill extends criminal penalties to compliance with BDS

American lawmakers have introduced a bipartisan bill which stipulates that criminal penalties for boycotting Israel would be extended to companies complying with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, including the boycott of communities in Judea and Samaria.
Reps. Pete Roskam (R-IL), and Juan Vargas (D-CA), introduced the bill Monday, JTA reported. The measure is a companion to one introduced in the Senate in September by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH), and Ben Cardin (D-MD), called the “Protecting Israel Against Discrimination Act.”

The House bill amends language in bills passed in the 1970s to combat the Arab League boycott of Israel to encompass the modern Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement – and to include efforts that would boycott goods produced in Judea and Samaria.

Whereas the original anti-boycott laws targeted companies cooperating with boycotts that were launched before Israel’s establishment as a means of squeezing its Jews, and then as a means of isolating the new Jewish state, the new bill appears to extend the definition to those who would use boycotts to pressure Israel into giving up territory.

The measure defines the “boycott of, divestment from and sanctions against Israel” that would merit penalties as including those “that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel or persons doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories.” READ MORE