The latest evidence of that slavishness comes in the form of growing support among Democrats in both Houses for legislation sponsored by Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and co-sponsored by Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer that would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, commonly known as BDS. Anyone guilty of violating the prohibitions will face a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.
According to the ACLU, the Cardin legislation would “bar U.S. persons from supporting boycotts against Israel, including its settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories (emphasis mine) conducted by international governmental organizations, such as the United Nations and the European Union. It would also… include penalties for simply requesting information about such boycotts. Violations would be subject to a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison….This bill would impose civil and criminal punishment on individuals solely because of their political beliefs about Israel and its policies.”
Pretty amazing. Why would anyone support such a law? Yes, lots of people (including me) oppose boycotting Israel (although I certainly support boycotting the settlements) but how is it even possible to criminalize simply supporting a boycott to protest the occupation? After all, we boycott states and municipalities here at home to protest discrimination based on race, sexual identity or anything else. Most recently, the state of North Carolina was faced with a boycott to protest its policy against allowing transgender people to use public bathrooms. How can it be legal to refuse to do business with North Carolina but illegal to refuse to do business with Israeli settlements?