Josh Ruebner, director of the U.S. campaign for Palestinian Rights, and author of “Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace” joins the show to discuss his latest article “New U.S. bill would punish settlement boycotters.” Ruebner explains how the act would criminalize U.S. corporations and individuals for supporting or furthering the impact of a boycott against Israel. Despite obvious major free speech restrictions the bill has support from both Democrats and Republicans, many of whom are already backing off their commitment to the bill. What’s really disturbing about the bill according to Ruebner is that companies could be criminalized even if their business decisions had the effect, but not intent, of furthering a boycott on Israel. Beyond that, if the bill became law, Attorney General Jeff Sessions would have the power to throw someone in jail ostensibly for their political beliefs. Ruebner explains how the bill has already created blowback against AIPAC and Israel: Constituents are pressing members of Congress on this issue for the first time and the progressive wing of the Democratic party is feeling more emboldened to speak out in support of the Palestinians, making it clear that the base of democratic voters no longer on board with Israeli policy of the past. Finally, Ruebner discusses the necessary conditions for a political solution between Israel and Palestine and how the BDS movement has successfully convinced companies to divest from Israel.
Josh Ruebner is the director of the U.S. campaign for Palestinian Rights. He is the author of “Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace” and the upcoming book “Israel: Democracy or Apartheid State?“. Follow Josh on Twitter @joshruebner.
Discussed on the show:
- American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
- Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
- “ACLU Letter to the Senate Opposing Israel Anti-Boycott Act” (ACLU)
- “‘Netanyahu doesn’t have a vision for peace,’ Gillibrand says at town hall aroused by boycott bill” (Mondoweiss.net)
- Bill of attainder
- Export-Import Bank of the United States
- “34 House Dems condemn Israeli charges against Issa Amro — follower of civil rights movement and Gandhi” (Mondoweiss)
- “American attitudes on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” (Brookings Institutem)
- “State Dept: Israeli Settlements, Lack of Hope Drive Palestinian Violence” (Antiwar.com)
- “ZOA calls on Rex Tillerson to quit over State Department saying Palestinian terrorism stems from ‘lack of hope’” (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)
- “Obama hands Israel the largest military aid deal in history,” by Rania Khalek (Electronic Intifada)
- Lockheed Martin
- Leahy Law
- “Explained: Palestinian citizens of Israelis” (Middle East Monitor)
- Palestinian Right of Return
- “BDS Victory: Veolia sells Israel businesses targeted by Palestinian-led boycott campaign” (Mondoweiss.net)
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