A Cynical Attempt to Sneak a Dissent-Stifling Provision into the Budget
Send an email to your Senators and Representatives today. Please feel free to add your own words to the email.
As the lame duck Congress session comes to an end, we are facing two attempts to sneak anti-boycott bills into the must-pass budget. Both the Israel Anti-Boycott Act and the cynically misnamed Anti-Semitism Awareness Act are unconstitutional attempts to silence one point of view in the debate about Middle East politics. So far, due to concerns from First Amendment experts, both bills have stalled. So the sponsors of each bill are trying to sneak them through. These controversial, unconstitutional bills could be pass without any meaningful debate.
Contact Congress and tell them to reject these attacks on free speech.
Last week, it was reported that Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) was working behind the scenes to get the Israel Anti-Boycott Act included in the end of the year budget. This bill would criminalize participation in boycotts of Israel or Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories called for by international organizations, like the UN or EU.
Now Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), is following in Cardin’s footsteps and has announced he will try to get the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act language into the budget. This would force the Department of Education to adopt a definition of anti-semitism that conflates criticism of Israel with anti-semitism. This would mean student activism for Palestinian rights could be treated as a violation of federal civil rights law.
Anti-semitism is deplorable. And people should be aware of it. But this bill isn’t about combating anti-semitism, it’s about perverting federal civil rights law to silence supporters of Palestinian human rights.
Tell Congress to reject these efforts to sneak unconstitutional attacks on free speech into the budget.
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