45 Senators Now Support Bill Criminalizing Boycott of Israel

ACLU: Bill Directly Attacks Freedom of Speech

S. 720 is a bill which is getting increasing bipartisan support in the US Senate. Also known as the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act,” the bill now has the support of 45 Senators, a number which is continuing to grow despite its overt hostility to freedom of speech.

The bill starts as a condemnation of the United Nations for criticisms of Israeli policy, but quickly veers into matters of domestic US policy, criminalizing any US citizen “engaged in interstate or foreign commerce” holding any beliefs in support of a boycott of Israel.

The ACLU was quick to point out that the bill, threatening huge fines and decades of prison time for ideological support of the boycott, is overtly criminalizing political thought, and is a huge infringement on freedom of speech. Sen. Ben Cardin (D – MD), the main sponsor, said he “doesn’t think” the bill actually criminalizes such views.

The House version of the bill, which isn’t so far along, also has some 234 co-sponsors, again across both parties. So far not a single US lawmakers has publicly gone on record as opposing the bill, which is being loudly endorsed by AIPAC.

There is no timetable for a vote on the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. Those wishing to contact their Senators to express opposition to S.720 can find the contact information here.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.