Monday, June 8, 2015

New "model" law bans SC firms that boycott Israeli occupation profiteers from receiving state contracts

This recently-enacted law passed the South Carolina Senate 44-0. An Illinois version passed that state's senate 49-0, although the bill is on hold.
     There's an interesting "such a deal" loophole in the SC law: a waiver if a business boycotting Israel is the lowest bidder by at least 20%.
     Some ball-spiking from the Israeli Allies Foundation:
      “Our work on this issue has only just begun. IAF’s team of experts have merged South Carolina’s H 3583 with Illinois’ SB 1761 into one piece of model legislation. IAF has now proven its preparedness to help lead the legislative battle against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) in all fifty states. We are offering all of the supporting resources legislators need to accomplish this important point of public policy. IAF is pleased to announce that a bloc of sponsors across 18 states has already committed to introducing similar legislation in their next legislative cycle.”
      “Moving forward, IAF is in the process of finalizing a partnership with another major pro-Israel organization in the United States. The collaboration will produce a network with over two million members and will go a long way in ensuring the success of the upcoming legislative effort."
      “We call upon the community of interested pro-Israel organizations to immediately reach out to us in order to organize and coordinate supportive efforts. Together we will defeat anti-Jewish bigotry, BDS and national-origin discrimination.”
The Carolina Peace Resource Center tried to stop H 3583, calling it:
  • An unconstitutional violation of First Amendment rights
  • Unnecessary red tape for businesses
  • An attempt to stifle a legitimate civil society movement to end Israel's oppression of Palestinians
Below, commentary on the similar bill requiring state sanctions against BDS supporters in Illinois:

     Why are Israel lobby groups and their allied groups resorting to government coercion, the heavy fist of government?
     Remember that many of the strongest supporters of these kind of laws are people who claim they want government out of the way. They don't want government standing in the way of business.
     If lawmakers — if a pizza parlor in Indiana doesn't want to make pizza for a gay wedding, that should be their right according to the people who support these kinds of laws.
     But what they're saying is if you make the free choice as a citizen, as an academic, as a business owner, to support the Palestinian struggle for human rights, you should be punished. You should be divested from. Your free speech rights should be limited. You should be maligned as a bigot. So we see these incredible double standards when it comes to Israel...


  1. Palestine, mmmm, death penalty for homosexuality.

    Israel, mmmm, homosexuality has been de facto legal since 1963 and de jure legal since 1988. Gay couples have been allowed to adopt.

    I'm not calling for Aksarbent to make tolerance of homosexuality an absolute litmus test but I would think there would be some recognition from time to time that there are intolerant forces among Palestinians that are working against peace and are against any toleration of dissent.

    If your going to reach into history and find justification for how Palestinians are aggrieved, abused, misunderstood, and victimized and figure all of their behavior is A-OK, then maybe you could see some history about Israelis that makes them have a hard time tolerating certain kinds of things, like explosives and tortured civilians.

    Their isn't a saintly party here. Nor is there one that is being pure evil for no reason.

    1. >>"Palestine, mmmm, death penalty for homosexuality. Israel, mmmm, homosexuality has been de facto legal since 1963 and de jure legal since 1988. Gay couples have been allowed to adopt."

      <<<<Mmmmm... false.

      From the wiki on Palestinian LGBT rights:

      ...same-sex acts were decriminalized in the Jordanian-controlled West Bank in 1951 and remain so to this day. On the other hand, in the Gaza Strip, the British Mandate Criminal Code Ordinance, No. 74 of 1936 remains in force and continues to outlaw same-sex acts between men, although lesbian women are not subjects of the code and their relations are thus, technically, not unlawful.

  2. >Palestine, mmmm, death penalty for homosexuality.
    >Israel, mmmm, homosexuality has been de facto legal since 1963 and de jure legal since 1988. Gay couples have been allowed to adopt.

    This is EXACTLY the pinkwashing language that Israel First trolls use to shut down criticism of Israeli policies. Since I know you're not a troll, I'm puzzled by why you are fooled by this.

    If you are that amenable to suggestion, for God's sake don't watch this pinkwashing ad fromTransCanada's PR firm or, I fear, you'll soon be carrying an "Approve Keystone XL" sign:

    In respect of Israel and homosexuality, you may not want to hear the inconvenient truth about how oh-so-gay-friendly Israel exploits Islamic homophobia by eavesdropping on gay Arabs and threatening to out them unless they spy for Israel (Via Mondoweiss, a progressive Jewish publication.)

    To conclude, the post wasn't about who is blameless or who is a saintly party or who is being pure evil for no reason or who endures more explosives (which, of course would be Palestinians in the Gaza strip — it's been in all the papers, Seth).

    The post was about the pugnacious Israel First lobby moving beyond sticking its finger in Obama's eye by having Bebe insult him in a joint session of Congress with Rethuglicans applauding like trained seals.

    It was about them now taking a page from ALEC's playbook by introducing unconstitutional laws at the state level PUNISHING firms which choose to boycott Israeli exploiters of settlements declared illegal by both the UN and the USA.

    What shameless and sinister and brazenly subversive chutzpah!

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see Arab countries meddling that outrageously with Americans' freedom of speech IN AMERICA. And boycotts ARE considered by the courts to be an expression of free speech. Even dear, dear Antonin Scalia could tell you that.