The House Should Refuse to Move Controversial Anti-boycott Legislation Passed by Senate Because It Infringes on First Amendment Rights

February 5, 2019

We were very disappointed today to see the Senate pass the Combating BDS Act, which undermines longstanding bipartisan policy on Israeli settlements and threatens the First Amendment rights of Americans.

While J Street opposes the Global BDS Movement, we know that the erroneously named “Combating BDS Act” does nothing to help Israel or to effectively counter the BDS movement. Instead, it extends US legal protections to settlements and alienates average Americans by infringing on constitutional rights.

The Act, which passed as part of the otherwise noncontroversial legislative package titled S.1, would authorize states to penalize companies and contractors, including individuals, who participate in boycotts of Israel or Israeli settlements.

All of the likely Democratic 2020 presidential contenders, except for Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), voted against this legislation.

The ACLU, Indivisible and MoveOn have also opposed this legislation.

We urge the House of Representatives not to take up S.1 as passed by the Senate and to oppose the Combatting BDS Act.

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