Misrepresenting the Texas Anti-BDS Law

(JNS) Jonathan S. Tobin - Critics are misrepresenting Texas' anti-BDS law. Such laws that have been passed by Texas and 25 other states are actually protecting a core value of U.S. law: the prohibition of discriminatory commercial conduct. The purpose of BDS is not to protest the Israeli government's policies. As BDS supporters make clear, what they want is no Israel at all. BDS is a cause that seeks to eliminate the one Jewish state on the planet and to deny its people rights - such as self-determination and self-defense - that they seek to deny to no one else. As such, it is a form of discrimination against Jews, i.e., anti-Semitism. The First Amendment protects even hateful speech. If she wishes, Bahia Amawi can call for Israel's destruction or support the Palestinian cause as much as she likes in either the public or private spheres. What she - or any other vendor doing business with the state of Texas - cannot do is engage in discriminatory commercial conduct. It is well understood that those connected to the state government cannot discriminate against African-Americans, Hispanics or other minority groups without running afoul of the law. What anti-BDS laws do is to extend those protections to Israel and Israelis because they are subject to an international campaign of discrimination that is indistinguishable from anti-Semitism.

2018-12-21 00:00:00

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