UKMW prompts Indy correction to claim on US anti-BDS bill

An op-ed by Miarav Zonszein in the Independent defending Congresswoman Ihan Omar from charges of antisemitism included the following claim:

“When you look at the anti-BDS legislation that has already swept half of the US and further efforts on a federal level to penalize Americans who so much as favor a boycott of Israel, it’s no wonder Omar is being attacked”.

However, if you read the text of the US bill here, it’s clear that it narrowly addresses business practices, not individual speech. And, even then, it merely protects the rights of local and state governments which decide to no longer wants to do business with those who boycott Israel. That’s quite a difference from Zonszein’s suggestion that the bill would penalize Americans for merely supporting BDS.

We tweeted the journalist.

We also contacted Indy editors, who eventually upheld our complaint and revised the sentence to note that the bill only impacts business practices:

Yet this talking point has been fully adopted in Washington. When you look at the anti-BDS legislation that has already swept half of the US and further efforts on a federal level to penalise American businesses which so much as favour a boycott of Israel, it’s no wonder Omar is being attacked

Though the new language is far from perfect, it’s a big improvement over the original.  You can learn more about the bill in question in this podcast featuring constitutional law expert Eugene Kontorovich.

10 replies »

  1. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Hadas is a cellist, singer, actress, meditation and inner work facilitator, and an artists mentor. Influenced by classic and modern music, Hadas began playing the cello at the age of eight. An alumnus of the The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (JAMD). At only nineteen, Hadas co-founded the band Asaf Avidan and the Mojos, which went on to earn three Israeli gold albums, and signed a major international deal with Sony/Columbia Records label. By the age of twenty- one Hadas had already performed on some of the world’s most prominent stages, including Carnegie Hall and Cannes Film Festival among numerous other festivals and major events. Her first solo album (Simplicity), released in 2014, received critical acclaim and remains highly celebrated by audience and critics alike. Her first single was the most played song on the Israeli radio that year and she was nominated Best New Singer of the year. Aside from performing, Hadas facilitates retreats, meditation practices, inner work exploration around the world. She specializes in coaching musicians and artists to empower artists to find their voice amid the chaos of the music industry.

  2. What does “favoring” a boycott entail? If a business owner states that he thinks that boycotting Israel is justified, but does not act on implementing a boycott, then s/he has not broken the law. The Independent of Truth is still disseminating lies.

    • Apparently boycotting companies that boycott is somehow unfair. Guess they can’t take what they dish out

  3. At 48:17 Professor Herf mentions the “euphemisms of the BDS resolutions”. To see the part in context go to 47:00. The whole video worth watching. Or buy the book.

  4. These bigots think they have the right to require governments to support or join their boycotts. But governments absolutely have the right to refuse to involve the public in their discriminatory schemes.