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The Amended Israel Anti Boycott Act Is Still Unconstitutional and Still Must Be Stopped

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The draconian legislation seeks to impose fines and criminal penalties, and deny government loans to corporations refusing to do business with corporations in illegal Israeli settlements. It infringes on the First Amendment right to boycott and seeks to


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fly bird (26)
Tuesday March 20, 2018, 8:36 am
USCPR Executive Director Yousef Munayyer is quoted in an op-ed by Nada Elia for Mondoweiss on the still-unconstitutional nature of the recently amended Israel Anti-Boycott Act. The draconian legislation seeks to impose fines and criminal penalties, and deny government loans to corporations refusing to do business with corporations in illegal Israeli settlements. It infringes on the First Amendment right to boycott and seeks to legitimize Israel’s settlements.

“From the day the Israel Anti-Boycott Act was introduced into Congress, we have been sounding the alarm over the unconstitutional nature of this bill aimed at stifling dissent against Israel’s brutal policies toward Palestinians. Since last April, we have been encouraged to see a growing number of people push back against these repressive efforts and in defense of our right to boycott, a tactic that is used by many social justice and freedom movements.

Senator Cardin has been struggling to pass this legislation, first sneaking it into other legislation before it was ruled out of procedure, and most recently by making amendments in an attempt to buy the consent of those with free speech concerns. Those efforts fall flat and, as the ACLU has made clear, there is no way to make a bill that is designed to repress a political viewpoint compatible with the First Amendment.

This entire episode highlights the fundamental conflict between the oppressive policies of the Israeli state and the values and freedoms Americans aspire to. We hope that moving forward, our elected representatives would defend the latter instead of the former.”

Read the op-ed here.

On Saturday, March 3rd, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) released an amended version of S.720, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act he had first introduced on March 23rd of last year. The new version of the bill was timed just ahead of the lobbying day of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which held its annual convention in Washington DC over the March 3-4 weekend. AIPAC is asking its supporters to lobby for this amended version of S.720, as well as and S.170, the Combating BDS Act.

In a nutshell, and in non-legalese, S.720 seeks to expand the scope of the 1979 “Export Administration Act,” which prohibits boycotts against Israel, Israeli businesses, and Israeli products, initially called for by Arab countries. The Export Administration Act specifies that it is illegal for Americans to heed a call for a boycott of Israel that is issued by a foreign government or governmental entity.

Instigated by AIPAC, Senator Cardin’s bill, S.720, would stem the success of BDS, and hinges on the fact that, in March 2016, the United Nations Higher Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) has issued its own call for boycott of Israeli products, including products from the West Bank settlements. The 1979 “Export Administration Act” could not impact individuals engaging in BDS in response to the call from the Boycott National Committee, which is not a governmental entity, but a group of individuals and civilian associations scattered all across the Palestinian Diaspora. However, as S.720 specifically defines the UNHCR as a governmental organization, anyone who boycotts any of the products the UNHCR has listed could now be subject to the penalties delineated in the 1979 Export Administration Act.

S.720 did not pass last year, even as Palestinian rights activists and civil libertarians expressed extreme concern over its infringement on their free speech amendment, which includes the right to boycott. Indeed, the introduction of the bill set into motion intense organizing on the part of Palestinian-rights activists, who were rightly alarmed at this egregious violation of our constitutionally protected First Amendment right, all for the protection of a foreign country, Israel, as it continues its own violations of the rights of the Palestinian people. People across the country met with their representatives at town halls, called, and wrote letters, expressing their strong opposition to the anti-BDS bill, as well as any state equivalent. And while S. 720 did not pass at the U.S. Senate level, over twenty states passed their own version of an anti-BDS law, resulting in the violation of citizens’ rights. Four very recent examples of how those bills stifle free speech came to light just this past week at the University of Houston, and the Arizona State University, and they are being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Senator Cardin claims that the amended version of S.720 does not “diminish or infringe on any right protected under the First Amendment.” However, both the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, and the ACLU, who have delved into the new text, disagree. Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, explains in a statement:

“From the day the Israel Anti-Boycott Act was introduced into Congress, we have been sounding the alarm over the unconstitutional nature of this bill aimed at stifling dissent against Israel’s brutal policies toward Palestinians. Since last April, we have been encouraged to see a growing number of people push back against these repressive efforts and in defense of our right to boycott, a tactic that is used by many social justice and freedom movements.

Senator Cardin has been struggling to pass this legislation, first sneaking it into other legislation before it was ruled out of procedure, and most recently by making amendments in an attempt to buy the consent of those with free speech concerns. Those efforts fall flat and, as the ACLU has made clear, there is no way to make a bill that is designed to repress a political viewpoint compatible with the First Amendment.

This entire episode highlights the fundamental conflict between the oppressive policies of the Israeli state and the values and freedoms Americans aspire to. We hope that moving forward, our elected representatives would defend the latter instead of the former.”

S.720 states that Congress “continues to support the right of citizens of the United States to constitutionally protected free speech, including the right to express their political views by engaging in personal boycott activity of their own accord.” This wording has provided many politicians with the fig leaf necessary to rubber stamp the bill, which has secured more sponsors since Cardin released it last Saturday. However, as the ACLU points out, a bill that is intended to stifle political boycotts cannot be made to protect free speech.

Specifically, the ACLU underlines the bill’s “fundamental constitutional defects,” and it has vowed to challenge it in court, should it pass in its revised form. The ACLU analysis of the amended version explains

“The critical failure in the bill lies in its overarching framework, which unconstitutionally seeks to suppress one side of the public debate over Israel and Palestine. The bill reiterates Congress’s opposition to ‘actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel or persons doing business in Israel or Israeli-controlled territories,’ which it defines to include ‘politically motivated’ boycotts aimed at Israel.”

The ACLU concludes that “Because the bill’s fundamental purpose violates the First Amendment, it cannot be rescued by its First Amendment savings clause.”

In addition to its violation of the right to boycott, which is a form of free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment, S.720, even in its revised version, would legitimize the settlements, as well as the annexation of East Jerusalem, as it states, in various instances, its opposition to boycotts of Israeli products, but also Israeli products from East Jerusalem, as well as “Israeli-controlled territories.” Again, the inclusion of these geographic designations is in response to the UNHCR boycott list, which specifies settlement products.

The changes to the Israel Anti-Boycott Act were introduced due to pressure from national and grassroots civil rights organizers, mobilized primarily by the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, as well as highly-publicized public opposition to the bill from the ACLU dating back to last summer. One of the changes in this year’s bill is that people engaging in a politically-motivated boycott of Israel would no longer be subject to imprisonment, only a fine. But the very fact that there should be a fine criminalizes political boycott. And that fine can be up to one million dollars.

Another disturbing aspect of the bill is that it does not define “domestic concern,” which could be interpreted as a corporation, a church, or even an individual. Many churches, for example, have voted to divest from some companies doing business with Israel, notably Hewlett-Packard, because of HP’s complicity in the illegal Israeli monitoring of Palestinian movement in annexed East Jerusalem and the West bank. These churches could be fined. And individuals could also be found guilty of a “politically-motivated” boycott. As the USCPR analysis points out, “if a caterer were to boycott Israeli wines produced in illegal settlements in support of the UNHCR’s inclusion of these wineries in its database, then they could be fined under the amended version of this bill as well.”

The amended version, in other words, is still unconstitutional, and must still be opposed with the same energy and determination we had last year.

In a recent conversation in Seattle between the grassroots group Washington Freedom to Boycott (of which I am a member) and Leah Muskin-Pierret, Government Affairs Associate at the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, we spoke of horizontal power—the widespread grassroots support for Palestine—and vertical power, which may not be as widespread, but reaches people in high places. AIPAC, and the NRA, are examples of vertical power, that fears people power. Support for Palestine has grown very significantly over the past few years, and is now shifting from strictly horizontal, to a vertical power, one that demands that our representatives hear us, one that holds them accountable to us, the constituents who elected them. This is not change from above, it is the grassroots percolating up, breaking through, bringing about policy change that reflects the will of the people. Recent examples in US history include the legalization of interracial marriage, gay marriage, and, in some states, recreational marijuana.

At a town hall in his home state of Maryland last year, Cardin was challenged by numerous constituents over his career-long support of Israel. As the town hall ended, protesters chanted “Senator Cardin, you can’t hide, your bill supports apartheid.” The amendments Cardin introduced last week, with his revised S.720, do not change that basic fact, and we need to keep protesting, as we tell all our representatives who would support this bill that they can’t hide either, and that their sponsorship also supports apartheid.

Nada Elia is a Palestinian scholar-activist, writer, and grassroots organizer, currently completing a book on Palestinian Diaspora activism.

fly bird (26)
Tuesday March 20, 2018, 8:55 pm
Countering Israel’s Public Relations Deception
Dan Lieberman / March 18th, 2018

Military strength is one pillar of Israel’s strategy to incorporate all the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and possibly beyond, into its territorial borders. Other pillars are a strong economy to finance the adventure and a worldwide deception plan that confuses those who aid Israel and, if they had all the facts, may object to Israel’s illegal tactics. Because Israel devotes excessive resources in a worldwide plan of public relations and deception, its government must sense an importance to that battleground.

The economy is robust but vulnerable, depending upon satisfying imports, armaments exports, tourism, US military assistance, limited contributions from the Jewish community, and providing a social net to marginal communities. Not widely publicized is that, at 18.7%, Israel, other than Mexico, has the highest poverty rate of all nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and is number 46 in CATO Institute’s Human Freedom Index, just below Hungary and just above Albania. Israel is akin to an industry, whose growth once impeded will reverse its trend and rapidly fall, as the social unbalances contend with shrinking resources. Knowledge of the battlefields and recommendations for combating the plan of worldwide deception is essential to a strategy that leads to Israel’s economic and social decline and forces it to re-evaluate policies.

Those favoring Israel have extensive resources and organizations to sustain their efforts. Those favoring the Palestinians have limited resources, and, except for the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) effort have not been sufficiently organized to combat Israel’s deceptions. Yet, countering Israel’s deceptions may be the most vital part of a Palestinian strategic plan ─ unmasking the clever disguise Israel’s supporters have devised to delude the world from recognizing its true self. Bringing Israel to international scorn can cause its economic and social decline. The plan deserves exceptional attention.

Special relationship

Commentators go to great length to explain the “special relationship” between Israel and the United States, treating it as a unique affair, in which both benefit. This slogan is a hoax, which originated during World War II as a description of the relationship between embattled Great Britain and a still neutral United States. Somehow and somewhere, a clever someone adapted the World War II slogan, applied it to Israel, and managed to insert it in the everyday lexicon. Israel’s protectors use the deceptive expression “special relationship,” to deceive the nature of Israel in most West European capitals. Examples:

The Multi-Annual Strategic Plan for the Palestinian Territory 2012-2015, based on the policy directives as set out by the Netherlands government here:

The Netherlands maintain excellent relations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and a constructive partnership though our development cooperation programme, while the special relationship with Israel allows for political openings.

Press TV, Jan 30, 2014

The minister met with Israeli Minister of Military Affairs Moshe Ya’alon in Berlin on Thursday. Ya’alon is on a two-day visit to Germany. “This is the first foreign guest I have the pleasure of welcoming here in my function as defense minister. It shows the special relationship between Germany and Israel,” the German defense minister stated.

Visegrad abroad, by Irena Kalhousová, 13. 4. 2012, Czech policy towards Israel. No Hypocritical Pacifism.

Some members of the EU were against the deepening of relations with Israel without the progress in the Peace Process. The Czech plan did not materialize, yet, the “special relationship” between the Czech Republic and the Jewish state remains strong.

Placing the words “special relationship” in government conversations, speeches, reports, articles, and documents so they become part of the everyday vocabulary of Europeans is a significant thrust of Israel’s public relations effort. The words seem harmless but they have a psychological impact. Parental relationship with children is special; parents warn but forgive children for their misdeeds, after all, they are special, which describes western nation relations with Israel. Constant warnings to Israel for its oppressive actions followed by a tacit forgiveness allow Israel to continue its despotic behavior.

The term “special relationship” is childish and manipulative. When the term is used, constant exposure of its nature will force people to re-evaluate their commitment to Israel. “Special relationship” should be replaced by “duplicitous relationship,” a term that more accurately describes any relationship with Israel.


Almost an estimated one million Israelis have left their nation, and live and work overseas. Most are immigrants who seek a different life. Among the immigrants is a cadre of weaponless soldiers, who behave benign, but within their ranks are propagandists, who seek to align foreign institutions in accord with Israel’s interests.

Because the Israeli propagandists work under the radar, the media does not capture their activities. Rather than pass on not entirely proven information and reassert some of the many known Israeli subversive operations, I prefer to describe my own experiences and those I definitely authenticate. These describe an Israeli propaganda machine that invades U.S. industry, public schools, universities, and institutions.

I have witnessed immigrants inviting fellow workers to their homes and lecturing them on why they should support Israel. I know of them going to synagogues and urging the Rabbis to place the Israeli flag next to the American flag. Contracts are given to Israeli organizations and company secrets are easily funneled to Israeli organizations.

In public schools, efforts are made to gain support for Israel by emphasis on the World War II Holocaust (nothing on the Nakba), and with events organized to attack Israel’s adversaries. I know of librarians gathering students in the library to choose general biographies to read, seven out of ten which are of personalities from the World War II Holocaust. One librarian showed her ignorance of the topic by referring to Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg as a Nazi officer who helped the Jews. The World War II Holocaust has a vital place in history but treating it as a purposeful commodity demeans the lost lives.

The Free Darfur movement, accused of being allied with Israeli interests due to Israel’s enmity toward Sudan, organized public school demonstrations against Sudan for purported genocide. Local synagogues advertised the action. No demonstrations during the genocide in Rwanda, or the present one in Southern Sudan, or how about Palestine?

Everyday U.S. citizens act as research centers for Israel, accumulating social, political, and economic statistics on American industrial and commercial life and send it to Israel ─ unregistered foreign agents whose activities are illegal.

Some students and visiting professors from Israel arrive with more concerns than learning. I have seen them at university conferences countering Palestinian expressions of grievances with statements such as, “The West Bank roads that Israel is building are meant to serve Palestinians one day,” and then congregate after the meeting to discuss what they can do to counter the remarks made at the meeting. A visiting professor to St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, who was prevented from using his grant to teach Holocaust studies, sued the university for anti-Semitism and won his case. St. Cloud now has a Jewish Studies and Resources Center but no courses, only a document center.

Georgetown has a Center for Jewish Civilization (what is Jewish civilization?) that has one core course: INAF-199: Introduction to Jewish Civilization. This course provides a foundation for the study of Jewish civilization and is required of all certificate and minor candidates, preferably upon entering the program.

However, the Center for Jewish Civilization has periodic meetings, open to the public whose topics have nothing to do with any Jewish civilization and have much to do with Israel. Some examples:

September 13, 2016
“Regional Cooperation and Cyber Security: Discussion with Israeli MK, Erel Margalit”

September 8, 2016
“The Netanyahu Premiership: A Retrospective”

November 30, 2017
“Holy Land, Holy See: The Hal Israel Endowed Lecture”

The Honorable Zion Evrony to the Vatican and Visiting Assistant Professor at the Catholic University of America discussed his experiences as Israeli Ambassador to the Vatican and Israel’s relationship with the Vatican.

November 2, 2017
“Values and Interests: The United States, Israel, and the Arab World”

October 19, 2017
“The Soviet-Israeli War, 1967-1973”

Most other talks are on the World War II Holocaust and anti-Semitism. No talks on Maimonides and other Jewish philosophers. No talks on past Jewish life in Spain, Tunisia, Iraq, and Europe.

Political, “think tank,” peace, and cultural organizations in Washington, D.C. are unusually populated with Israelis and Israel supporters. One route that I have noticed is where a person obtains credentials from an Israeli institute, is awarded a grant to visit the United states by a sketchy organization, eventually receives an invitation (by a friend) to lecture at a university and becomes recognized as an expert on the Middle East. This leads to a recommendation for a fellowship at a Middle East “think tank,” more recognition, and soon we have an artificially prepared “Middle East expert” who ingratiates with peace groups and tries to steer everyone, including those at the institutions and universities, to lessen aggressive attitudes toward Israel. Nothing too extreme, only a neutralization of activity.

During 2010, the FBI uncovered 10 unregistered Russian agents living in the U.S. as ordinary citizens, engaged in harmless activities, such as meeting people in high places in order to influence their attitudes and reporting American views on foreign and domestic affairs to Moscow. Multiply the number of discovered Russian agents by tens of thousands and you will have the number of Israeli expatriates in the U.S., many of whom take the opportunity to do the same for Israel, become U.S. citizens, and vote for Israel friendly candidates.

It all seems harmless and operates smoothly. However, considering the number of Israelis who have migrated to the U.S. and other western nations in the last decades the amount can form a massive propaganda organization that steers westerners to favor Israel. Estimates by the Israeli government ministries and the Los Angeles-based Israeli American Council, which represents Israelis across the United States and promotes their interests, have between 500,000 and 800,000 Israelis living in the U.S., about 150,000 live in the New York area, 120,000 in Los Angeles, and 80,000 in Miami.

What are the more important voting areas in the United States? New York, California and Florida are significant. Enough dual citizen and American-Israelis can shape the ballot in those regions, and may have in the disputed 2000 presidential election.

This immigration needs intensive investigation and a full report. Americans deserve protection from foreign influence. Anyone representing the interests of a foreign nation should be registered as a foreign agent. Those placing the interests of a foreign nation before their own should be exposed.

Israel‘s Global Influencers

Extend the most deceptive propaganda mechanism in history from AIPAC, ADL, CAMERA, and a multitude of acronym named Israel support organizations in the United States to the international scene.

A more complete description of this mechanism can be found here, where a report titled: The Israel lobby and the European Union, “researched and written by Public Interest Investigations and Spinwatch, and published by EuroPal Forum, seeks to explore a number of Israel lobby groups in the European Union, the power they wield and the dubious sources that fund them, while also uncovering the secretive transatlantic networks behind them. Perhaps the timeliest chapters in this report are the ones that deal with the issue of criminalising resistance and silencing dissent.”

A few examples will be mentioned.

In France, Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) gathers an assortment of groups dedicated to Israel. On example of their thrust and how they operate.

French Jewish group CRIF fined for defaming pro-Palestinian charity, April 8, 2014.

(JTA) – France’s largest Jewish organization defamed a pro-Palestinian charity by accusing it of financing Hamas, a French court ruled. The ruling against the CRIF umbrella group handed down by the Nancy Court of Cassation last month was first reported Sunday by the news site CRIF staff were ordered to pay the equivalent of $4,140 to the Committee for Charity and Support for the Palestinians, or CBSP – a group that CRIF researcher Marc Knobel in 2010 wrote “collects funds for Hamas.”

Former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar (why him?) leads The Friends of Israel Initiative (FII), which defines its thrust as “countering the growing efforts to delegitimize the State of Israel and its right to live in peace within safe and defensible borders.”

A July 2014 working paper, Understanding the Issue of Israeli Settlements and Borders claims that:

…settlements have become an exaggerated issue in the diplomatic discourse over Israel. Settlement activity, like the construction of homes and schools, does not constitute a violation of Israel’s signed agreements with the Palestinians. The assertion that settlement activity is a violation of international law is not universally accepted, though it is frequently stated in UN debates and in the declarations of the European Union.

A July 2017 event featured this statement:

As goes Israel – so goes the United States of America and so goes Western civilization. And so many of our adversaries and enemies know that. That’s what we’re facing all across the Middle East and, truthfully, all across the world.

United Kingdom has almost as many pro-Israel organizations as there are Israelis. Three of them are:

Labour Friends of Israel (LFI), a parliamentary group affiliated with the Labor Party, which promotes support for a strong bilateral relationship between Britain and Israel.

We run and promote campaigns to help create a lasting peace in the Middle East with Israel safe, secure and recognised within its borders; living alongside a democratic, independent Palestinian state.

Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), a parliamentary group affiliated with the Conservative Party and dedicated to strengthening business, cultural and political ties between the United Kingdom and Israel. CFI has given £377,994 to the Conservative party since 2004, mostly in the form of fully-funded trips to Israel for MPs, according to the Electoral Commission website. Directors of CFI have also given money directly to the Tory party.

Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) seeks to present Israel’s case to journalists.

Our Strategic Assessments provide expert analysis of the ever changing challenges to Israeli security. From sub-state actors and foreign states to domestic concerns, the strategic threats to Israel and the Middle East are explored in depth.

Russia, yes Russia, has formation of a new lobby.

Jerusalem Post, Pro-Israel caucus forming in Russian parliament, By GIL HOFFMAN, 05/25/2013

A select group of Russian parliament members will soon be urging their colleagues to say “da” to Israel after a delegation of Israelis took steps to initiate the formation of a pro-Israel caucus in the Duma in meetings last week in Moscow.

Digest all of this. Why the existence of this plethora of helpful groups for one small country that has a strong military and is economically well off? Do any equivalent assemblies of forces that promote a specific nation exist in the world?

The global influencers might cite glorious Israel as the principal motive for their operation, but it looks more like following the MONEY. They perform dutiful services and are rewarded — by salaries, campaign contributions, or by meeting the right people. Between the years 2010 to 2013, FII Inc. raised $5,778,135.

These pro-Israel groups, who proudly announce their agendas, should be exposed and criticized for their subterfuge, deceit, and aid and comfort to an Israel that seizes lands from others, oppresses a population, and commits crimes with the excuse of “security” need. How to combat them is not a simple matter; each incident is unique and requires a unique response. One problem is that they force responses to become as low as their efforts ─ charge them and they’ll discharge with the use of the anti-Semite epithet which leads to countercharges of racist, fascist and who knows what. It takes cool heads and careful consideration to respond wisely.

The trick is to expose them only to their audiences and not publicize their efforts to the public, a complex and doable effort ─ gather the probable names of their targets and target the information. This is not always contradictory information but real information — facts and logic that present an honest portrayal of events. In some cases, campaign contributions or grants may be the answer — fund raising and a huge war chest will be needed. For those who cherish social justice and preservation of the human race, support for a worthwhile cause is a pleasure.


Repetitions of the biblical David and Goliath story, the novel and film Exodus, and the moribund Kibbutz make it difficult to ascertain if Israel is a country or a public relations stunt. The many organizations that perpetuate the myths and influence parliamentary bodies to favor only Israel have no equivalents in the international scene. Evidently, they have a positive affect for Israel; why else would anyone be supporting Israel’s oppression and diabolical nature — the daily killings of Palestinians, land seizures, heartless evictions — and why would these organizations continue to operate and prosper? Number one on the agenda of those who recognize and oppose Israel’s nefarious activities is combating the deception, infiltration, and global army of pro-Israel groups.

Publicity is successful by shouting loud and often. It is more successful by shouting louder and more often. A slow shift to active support of the Palestinian cause by those who recognize they have multitudes who will protest with them, after being discouraged by deliberate attacks on them by pro-Israel deceitful practices, and an awakening from those who realize it is not moral (how about Christian) to be pro-oppression, will start a trend that soon cascades past an inflection point. Reaching the inflection point takes courage, money, and energy. Once reached, the billions of world’s people who are cognizant of the dangers Israel is to the world community, will place into motion the mechanisms for correcting Israel’s deceptive and harmful practices.

Legislators will find themselves opposed and begin to reverse themselves. Tourists will watch where their money goes and avoid Israel. BDS will advance and have an effect on Israel’s economy and its citizens. Israelis will begin to see themselves in a proper perspective and demand change. When no longer living in a society that lives and prospers by taking from others, Israelis will seek more favorable places.

Sell before the crash.

Colleen L (3)
Wednesday March 21, 2018, 8:36 am
Yes it must be stopped. Thanks Fly

Darren Woolsey (218)
Thursday March 22, 2018, 12:13 am
Shared all articles over social media to raise and spread awareness.

Freya H (345)
Thursday March 22, 2018, 6:52 am
Here are two petitions against this vile act:
Against the House version
Against the Senate version

Jelica R (144)
Thursday March 22, 2018, 3:14 pm
Thanks, Freya. Signed
And TY for posting, Fly

fly bird (26)
Thursday March 22, 2018, 8:30 pm
"No justice under occupation!"

Thank you Freya for posting the kinks to the petitions. ***********

fly bird (26)
Saturday March 24, 2018, 1:51 pm
Sign the petition / Signer la pétition

To Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland:

I urge you to prioritize human rights of Palestinian children and hold Israeli authorities accountable for widespread and systematic ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian child detainees.

Au Premier Ministre Justin Trudeau et la Ministre des affaires étrangères Chrystia Freeland:

Je vous implore de prioriser la défense des droits humains des enfants palestiniens, et de tenir les autorités israéliennes responsables de la propagation du mauvais traitement systématique et de la torture des enfants palestiniens détenus.

Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that systematically prosecutes around 700 children each year in military courts lacking fundamental fair trial rights.

Three out of every four of these children endure some form of physical violence at the hands of Israeli soldiers or police officers following arrest. In 97 percent of the cases, children are interrogated without legal counsel and without their parents.[1]

Israeli officials and armed forces often exhibit complete disregard for international law and Palestinian children find themselves living in an increasingly militarized environment where Israeli forces and settlers operate with near complete impunity.

Canada’s foreign policy indicates a priority commitment to protection and promotion of the rights of children and youth around the world, particularly children living in conflict-affected areas.[2]

Government of Canada policy demands that Israeli authorities fully respect international human rights and humanitarian law, and reaffirms the Fourth Geneva Convention applies in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, establishing Israel's obligations as an “Occupying Power” under international humanitarian law.

When it comes to children, detention must be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time. The best interests of the child must be a primary concern. The universal and absolute prohibition of torture enshrined in international law means that no child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In no circumstance should children be detained and prosecuted under the jurisdiction of military courts.

The Government of Canada must take steps to promote greater respect for human rights, increase protections for Palestinian children, and hold Israeli authorities accountable to their obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law. Until we demand Israeli authorities comply with international law, we are simply enabling abuse and perpetuating injustice against Palestinian children.

We call on the Government of Canada, through the Department of Global Affairs, to closely monitor and report on the situation of Palestinian children arrested by Israeli forces and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system.


Je vous implore de prioriser la défense des droits humains des enfants palestiniens, et de tenir les autorités israéliennes responsables de la propagation du mauvais traitement systématique et de la torture des enfants palestiniens détenus.

Israël détient la distinction honteuse d’être le seul pays dans le monde, qui poursuit systématiquement plus de 700 enfants dans les tribunaux militaires, sans les garanties de base d’un procès équitable et du respect du droit international.

Trois enfants sur quatre endurent de la violence physique perpétrée par les soldats israéliens ou par la police, suite à leurs arrestations. Dans 97% des cas, les enfants se voient privés de l’accès à un avocat avant leur interrogation. Ils sont interrogés sans un conseil légal présent et sans la présence de leurs parents.

Les autorités israéliennes et les forces armées démontrent souvent un mépris total pour le droit international. Ainsi, les enfants palestiniens se retrouvent dans un milieu de vie de plus en plus militarisé, où les forces israéliennes et les colons agissent en toute impunité.

La politique étrangère du Canada accorde clairement une priorité à la protection et à la promotion des droits des enfants et des jeunes partout dans le monde, particulièrement les enfants vivant dans des zones fragilisées touchées par des conflits.

Le gouvernement du Canada doit exhorter les autorités israéliennes à respecter le droit international, les droits de l’homme et le droit humanitaire, et réaffirmer que la quatrième convention de Genève s’applique sur le territoire Palestinien occupé, établissant ainsi les obligations d’Israël en tant que puissance occupante sous le droit humanitaire international.

En ce qui concerne les enfants, la détention ne devrait être utilisée qu’en tant que dernier recours, pour une durée aussi brève que possible. L’intérêt supérieur de l’enfant doit toujours primer. L’interdiction universelle et absolue de la torture enracinée dans le droit international signifie que nul enfant ne soit soumis à la torture ni à des peines ou traitements cruels, inhumains ou dégradants. En aucun cas, les enfants ne devraient être détenus ni poursuivis sous la juridiction des tribunaux militaires.

Le gouvernement du Canada doit entreprendre de promouvoir un meilleur respect des droits de la personne, d’augmenter la protection pour les enfants palestiniens, et de tenir les autorités israéliennes responsables face à leurs obligations sous le droit international et les droits humains.

Tant et aussi longtemps que nous ne demandons pas aux autorités israéliennes de se conformer au droit international, nous contribuons à la perpétuation de l’abus et de l’injustice envers les enfants palestiniens.

Nous appelons le gouvernement du Canada, via Affaires mondiales Canada, de surveiller et de suivre de près, et de faire rapport sur la situation des enfants palestiniens qui sont arrêtés par les forces israéliennes et poursuivis par les tribunaux militaires.

fly bird (26)
Saturday April 7, 2018, 7:08 am
Glenn Greenwald: Federal Court Strikes Down a Law that Punishes Supporters of Israel Boycott.

Reporting in The Intercept, journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote about a recent US court decision that labels efforts aimed at punishing those who boycott Israel as ‘unconstitutional.’

The decision is considered a major victory for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and its supporters, who have been targeted by a series of US state laws.

These are excerpts from Gleenwald’s piece:

“A federal judge on Tuesday (Jan 30) ruled that a Kansas law designed to punish people who boycott Israel is an unconstitutional denial of free speech. The ruling is a significant victory for free speech rights because the global campaign to criminalize, or otherwise legally outlaw, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement has been spreading rapidly in numerous political and academic centers in the U.S. This judicial decision definitively declares those efforts — when they manifest in the U.S. — to be a direct infringement of basic First Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

“The enjoined law, enacted last year by the Kansas legislature, requires all state contractors — as a prerequisite to receiving any paid work from the state — “to certify that they are not engaged in a boycott of Israel.” The month before the law was implemented, Esther Koontz, a Mennonite who works as a curriculum teacher for the Kansas public school system, decided that she would boycott goods made in Israel, motivated in part by a film she had seen detailing the abuse of Palestinians by the occupying Israeli government, and in part by a resolution enacted by the national Mennonite Church. The resolution acknowledged “the cry for justice of Palestinians, especially those living under oppressive military occupation for fifty years”; vowed to “oppose military occupation and seek a just peace in Israel and Palestine”; and urged “individuals and congregations to avoid the purchase of products associated with acts of violence or policies of military occupation, including items produced in [Israeli] settlements.”

“A month after this law became effective, Koontz, having just completed a training program to teach new courses, was offered a position at a new Kansas school. But, as the court recounts, “the program director asked Ms. Koontz to sign a certification confirming that she was not participating in a boycott of Israel, as the Kansas Law requires.” Koontz ultimately replied that she was unable and unwilling to sign such an oath because she is, in fact, participating in a boycott of Israel. As a result, she was told that no contract could be signed with her.

“In response to being denied this job due to her political views, Koontz retained the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued the commissioner of education, asking a federal court to enjoin enforcement of the law on the grounds that denying Koontz a job due to her boycotting of Israel violates her First Amendment rights. The court on Tuesday agreed and preliminarily enjoined enforcement of the law.

“The ruling is significant for two independent reasons. The first is the definitive and emphatic nature of the ruling. The court dispensed with an oft-repeated but mythical belief about free speech rights: namely, that they only bar the government from imprisoning or otherwise actively punishing someone for their views, but do not bar them from withholding optional benefits (such as an employment contract) as retaliation for those views. Very little effort is required to see why such a proposition is wrong: Just imagine a law which provided that only people who believe in liberalism (or conservatism) will be eligible for unemployment benefits or college loans.

“Numerous other U.S. states have implemented similar measures as the one in Kansas — including New York, where, as we previously reported, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order directing all agencies “to terminate any and all business with companies or organizations that support a boycott of Israel” and “requiring that one of his commissioners compile ‘a list of institutions and companies’ that — ‘either directly or through a parent or subsidiary’ — support a boycott.” As the New York Civil Liberties Union told The Intercept at the time about Cuomo’s order: “Whenever the government creates a blacklist based on political views it raises serious First Amendment concerns and this is no exception.”

(The Intercept, PC, Social Media)
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