If Congress were considering legislation prohibiting boycotts directed against gays, women or Muslim owned companies, would Senator Bernie Sanders be arguing that such a ban would violate the First Amendment? If Congress were considering legislation prohibiting companies from boycotting majority Muslim countries, would Rashida Tlaib be accusing its supporters of dual loyalty?
American laws have long dealt with discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, gender and national origin. Our laws prohibited compliance with the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses in the 1930’s and the Arab boycotts of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Now Congress is considering legislation dealing with companies that boycott only the nation state of the Jewish people, and only Jews within Israel. To single out only the “Jew among nations,” and not the dozens of far more serious violators of human rights is bigotry pure and simple, and those who support BDS [boycotts divestments and sanctions against Israel] only against Israel are guilty of bigotry.
Some supporters of BDS claim that it is a protest tactic designed to put pressure on Israel to change its policies. That is not what the leaders of BDS say. Their goal is the elimination of Israel and its replacement by a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea.”*