In Falsifying the Nature of Anti-Boycott Laws, the ACLU Is Abetting Anti-Semitism

March 13 2019

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has decided to mount legal challenges to state laws that prohibit state governments from doing business with corporations that boycott Israel, and likewise opposes the bill now before Congress that will protect such laws. In support of its position, the ACLU’s political director, one of its legal briefs, and several entries on its website have all claimed, erroneously, that these laws require businesses to take a “loyalty oath” to Israel. David Bernstein writes:

Contractors’ certifying that their businesses don’t boycott Israel-related entities is no more a “loyalty oath” to Israel than is certifying that they don’t refuse to deal with black- or gay- or women-owned business, or that they will deal only with unionized businesses, is a “loyalty oath” to blacks, gays, women, or unions. Contractors who sign anti-boycott certifications are free to boycott Israel and related entities in their personal lives, and they and their businesses are free to donate to anti-Israel candidates and causes, and even to publicly advocate for boycotting, divesting from, and sanctioning Israel (BDS). . . .

By spreading the false meme that no-boycott certifications amount to not just loyalty oaths, but loyalty oaths to a foreign government, the ACLU has spread the canard that the pro-Israel (read, overwhelmingly Jewish) organizations and their members want to use the force of the state to require everyone to be “loyal” to Israel.

Some commentators, meanwhile, have taken the ACLU’s exaggerations and upped the ante. Andrew Sullivan, for example, recently portrayed a federal bill permitting states to refuse to deal with contractors who boycott those doing business with or in Israel entities as a bill that would have “made it illegal for any American to boycott goods from the West Bank without suffering real economic consequences from their own government.”

I understand that ACLU lawyers have a responsibility to their clients to win the public-relations war to help with its legal battle, but the organization has disgraced itself by using the “loyalty-oath” canard that it had to know would play on latent and blatant anti-Semitic sentiment. The real shame is that I don’t think that the poobahs at the ACLU care.

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Read more at Volokh Conspiracy

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Politics & Current Affairs

 

Maintaining Security Cooperation with the PA Shouldn’t Require Ignoring Its Support for Terror

In accordance with legislation passed last year, the Israeli government has begun to deduct from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) an amount proportional to what the PA pays to terrorists and their families. Last year, a similar law went into effect in the U.S., suspending all payments to the PA so long as it continues its “pay-for-slay” policy. The PA president, Mahmoud Abbas, has retaliated by refusing to accept any tax revenue collected by Israel—raising concerns that the PA will become insolvent and collapse—while insisting that payments to terrorists and their families are sacrosanct. To Yossi Kuperwasser, Abbas’s behavior amounts to mere extortion—which has already worked on the Europeans to the tune of 35 million euros. He urges Israel and the U.S. not to submit:

Abbas [believes] that influential Israeli and European circles, including the security establishment, view strengthening the Palestinian Authority, and certainly preventing its collapse, as being in Israel and Europe’s best interests. They will therefore give in to the pressure he exerts through the creation of an artificial economic crisis. . . .

[T]he PA leadership’s insistence on continuing wage payments to terrorists and their families, even at the price of an artificial economic crisis, shows once again that . . . the Oslo Accords did not reflect a substantive change in Palestinian national aspirations or in the methods employed to achieve them. . . . If paying wages to terrorists (including the many terrorists whose attacks took place after the Oslo Accords were in force) is the raison d’être for the PA’s establishment, as Abbas seems to be saying, . . . one cannot help asking whether Israel has to insist on maintaining the PA’s existence at any price.

True, Israel cooperates on security issues with the PA, but that serves the interests of both sides. . . . The short-term benefits Israel gains from this security cooperation, [however], are of less value than the benefits enjoyed by the Palestinians, and worth even less when measured against the long-term strategic damage resulting from Israel’s resigning itself to the constant incitement, the promotion of terror, and the political struggle against Israel carried out by the PA. Israel should not do anything to hasten the PA’s breakdown, because it has no desire to rule over the Palestinians and run their day to day lives, but it also should not feel more obligated to the PA’s continued existence than do the Palestinians themselves, thereby leaving itself open to continuous extortion.

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Read more at Israel Institute for Strategic Studies

More about: Israeli Security, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror