Congressional double standards

The US Congress is all in favour of boycotts and sanctions. Well sort of. It all depends.

 

Congressional representatives in the House and the Senate, across party lines, are all in favour of boycotts and sanctions against Russia, and Iran and North Korea. However, the same elected representatives and senators are completely opposed to the boycott Israel movement. Their opposition is so strong, they intend to criminalise any expression of support for the boycott movement. It seems these patriotic lawmakers have never heard of the first amendment or freedom of expression.

 

The bill is called the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. It was drafted with the assistance of the Israeli lobby outfit, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The bill would make support for the boycott movement a criminal offence, with maximum penalties of a million dollar fine and twenty years' imprisonment.

 

The bill is not only unconstitutional, it is so authoritarian, it would not look out of place in North Korea. The bill, if passed into law, would criminalise political beliefs and the expression of political ideas. Anyone would be free to support Israel, but no one would be allowed to criticise Israel and its policies. Such laws are totalitarian.

 

US lawmakers apparently simultaneously believe that sanctions are both moral and lawful and immoral and criminal. I suspect the only other explanation is that they are bought and paid for and are beholden to special interests. 

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Comments (19)

  1. GovMisdirection

    Cutting through the drama the bill prohibits U.S. persons <<< ENGAGED IN INTERSTATE OR FOREIGN COMMERCE<<< from:

    requesting the imposition of any boycott by a foreign country against a country which is friendly to the United States; or
    *
    supporting any boycott fostered or imposed by an international organization, or requesting imposition of any such boycott, against Israel.
    Congress is looking at the bill to ensure freedom of speech and continue to oppose the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution of March 24, 2016, attacking Isreal.

    July 27, 2017
    1. stevehayes13

      I do not see how this cuts through the “drama”. In fact, I do not even know what “drama” you are referring to. Nor can I see how you think your comment refutes, or even qualifies, anything I have said.

      July 27, 2017
      1. wirelessguru1

        Fool, you can’t see that much, can you?

        July 27, 2017
      2. GovMisdirection

        The anti-semitic drama played out on the world stage by the United Nations and the European Union that has " long targeted Israel with systematic, politically motivated, assaults on its legitimacy designed to stigmatize and isolate Israel internationally".

        July 28, 2017
        1. stevehayes13

          What antisemtic drama? Criticising Israeli policies is not antisemtic, anymore than criticising US policies is not anti-American.

          July 28, 2017
  2. RRoe

    Wow, what happened to freedom of speech.

    July 27, 2017
    1. fuall

      Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

      July 27, 2017
  3. fuall

    “Anyone would be free to support Israel, +but no one would be allowed to criticise Israel and its policies.”+
    .
    WOW! That’s simply ridiculous and isn’t in any way part of the legislation. Exactly who is it that you believe this legislation is aimed at? And what do _*you_* believe it’s designed to do? Here’s a link to the legislation. Maybe actually read it and then give it another try because, based on what you’ve written, you don’t seem to understand it at all. (Maybe read the associated legislation linked in the text of that legislation as well.)

    .
    https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/720/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22IsraelAnti-Boycott+act%22%5D%7D&r=1+

    July 27, 2017
    1. stevehayes13

      I have read the bill.

      July 28, 2017
      1. fuall

        Well that’s disconcerting, because you obviously didn’t understand it.

        July 28, 2017
        1. stevehayes13

          If I misunderstood, so too did US lawyers, which seems odd.

          July 28, 2017
          1. fuall

            Is so, then why did you include this bit of completely fabricated bullshit?
            .
            “The bill, if passed into law, would criminalise political beliefs and the expression of political ideas. Anyone would be free to support Israel, but no one would be allowed to criticise Israel and its policies.”
            .
            Okay, there are six words that aren’t complete batshit. Oops, my bad.

            July 28, 2017
            1. stevehayes13

              I have not fabricated anything. The law criminalises support for the boycott of Israel.

              You might care to glance at the above comment by GovMisdirection, which plainly reveals that criticism of Israeli policies is construed as antisemtic.

              July 28, 2017
            2. fuall

              Okay, it’s clear that either A) English is your second language and you simply don’t get the nuance of it, B) You read the legislation but lied about understanding it, C) You didn’t read it and lied about reading and understanding it, D) You did read it, didn’t understand it, and decided to make up your own story to fit the most hyperbolic pile of crap you could create, or E) You’re a huge racist/anti-Semite that just wants to bitch about ‘those Jews!’ I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and operate under the assumption that it’s ‘D.’
              .
              First and foremost, there’s no double standard there. In case you missed it from over there in the UK, Israel is an ally of the US and Russia, Iran, and N. Korea are all considered enemies. There’s no obligation for the US to do anything to assist our enemies. In contrast, there are several agreements between the US and Israel, both political and economic. (Public Law 113–296 and Public Law 112–150 are a good start.) You’ll see things like this one from 113-296:

              SEC. 3. STATEMENT OF POLICY.
              It is the policy of the United States—

              • to reaffirm the unwavering support of the people and
                the Government of the United States for the security of Israel as a Jewish state;*
              • to reaffirm the principles and objectives enshrined in the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 (Public Law 112–150) and ensure its implementation to the fullest extent;*
              • to reaffirm the importance of the 2007 United States- Israel Memorandum of Understanding on United States assist- ance to Israel and the semi-annual Strategic Dialogue between the United States and Israel;*
              • to pursue every opportunity to deepen cooperation with Israel on a range of critical issues including defense, homeland security, energy, and cybersecurity;*
              • to continue to provide Israel with robust security assistance, including for the procurement of the Iron Dome Missile Defense System; and*
              • to support the Government of Israel in its ongoing efforts to reach a negotiated political settlement with the Pales- tinian people that results in two states living side-by-side in peace and security.*
                .
                Next up, you imply by stating “The bill would make support for the boycott movement a criminal offence, with maximum penalties of a million dollar fine and twenty years’ imprisonment,” that this penalty would apply to any and all, even individual citizens. Maybe you’d be surprised (because you didn’t read it or understand it) that the bill specifies who is subject to these penalties. Now pay attention, I think this is where you pounded the pooch in the ass. In the Anti-Boycott Act in SEC. 6 Definitions (a)(1) and (2) it refers you to 19 U.S.C. 4201 (b)(20)(B) for the definition of what/who are the affected entities.
              • Definition*
                In this paragraph, the term “actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel” means actions by states, non-member states of the United Nations, international organizations, or affiliated agencies of international organizations that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel or persons doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories.
                .
                Now that we have covered the actual bill, let’s try to tackle the rest of the batshit crazy part. Here, where you state “The bill, if passed into law, would criminalise political beliefs and the expression of political ideas. Anyone would be free to support Israel, but no one would be allowed to criticise Israel and its policies,” is clearly not true. There is no mention of political beliefs anywhere in the bill, and the right to criticize Israel, if we so desire as individual citizens, is protected by the 1st Amendment. (Maybe you’ve heard of it?) So that’s simply a lie. The purpose of the bill is to prevent organizations, companies, and governments of the type(s) mentioned from attempting to force political change, concessions, etc. through boycotting an ally and economic and political partner with whom we have entered into agreement to protect, including their economic interests, through treaty and law. And there’s the last bit of crazy with saying, ”…would criminalise… the expression of political ideas.” Again, nowhere in the text of any of those laws or this bill, and is also protected under the 1st Amendment.

              July 28, 2017
            3. stevehayes13

              Or it may be neither A, B, C, D, or E. Perhaps, it is simply that my characterisation is accurate. Here is an analysis by the ACLU:

              https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/how-israel-anti-boycott-act-threatens-first-amendment-rights

              July 29, 2017
            4. fuall

              Really dude? Seriously? Okay, I guess we’re doing this…
              .
              Your first mistake here is listening to those taint-bruised fucktards at the ACLU. They’re whole thing is being pot-stirring assholes. The second mistake was, again, apparently not reading the linked Export Admin. Act of 1979. And the third was not realizing that IT’S BEEN A LAW SINCE 1979! If your comprehension were a tenth as good as you seem to think it is, then you’d be able to read the proposed amendments to that act, THAT’S BEEN LAW SINCE 1979, in the Israel Anti-boycott Act and see there is nothing there of the kind you or those batshit crazy douchebags at the ACLU claim. That same group you’re using to defend an indefensible position, in the article you were so eager to cite, state “The Israel Anti-Boycott Act principally seeks to amend the Export Administration Act of 1979. That law prohibits “U.S. persons” — a term that refers to both individuals and companies (This highlighted bit is simply a flat out lie.) — from taking certain actions to comply with or support a boycott imposed by a foreign country against another country that is friendly to the United States.” What they conveniently leave off of “U.S. persons..” is the qualifier on who is considered to be qualified under this act. I’m certain you’ll be surprised to learn, since you obviously didn’t read the Export Admin. Act either, that the whole statement, when read in it’s entirety and is taken in context, reads somewhat differently:
              .

              SEC. 8. (a) PROHIBITIONS AND EXCEPTIONS.—(1) For the p u r p o s e of implementing the policies set forth in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (5) of section 3 of this Act, the President shall issue regulations prohibiting any United States person, with respect to his activities in the interstate or foreign commerce of the United States, from taking or knowingly agreeing to take any of the following actions with intent to comply with, further, or support any boycott fostered or imposed by a foreign country against a country which is friendly to the United States and which is not itself the object of any form of boycott pursuant to United States law or regulation.
              .
              https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUTE-93/pdf/STATUTE-93-Pg503.pdf
              .
              Those dumbasses even quote it later in their article making sure to bold-face the type for the bits they want you to focus on, and conveniently glossing over the bit where it specifically says “with respect to his activities in the interstate or foreign commerce of the United States,” like it’s not there. “OF the United States.” Not ‘in’ the United States. “Of,” meaning, “on behalf of the United States.”
              .
              So, if your not a licensed importer/exporter of strategically controlled goods or military components that are monitored by the government, your probably safe from this _outlandish law… THAT’S BEEN A LAW SINCE 1979! And is not now being changed in definition to include random individual citizens, as anyone with a third grade education can read from the text of the proposed bill.
              .
              After rambling on quite a bit more under the incorrect assumption of “individuals” being affected, those idiots complete their hyperbolic rant by wrapping up with.

              “5. Some people have claimed that the Export Administration Act is about corporations, not individuals, so why do you think individuals could be affected under this bill?”

              *The Office of Antiboycott Compliance’s website explicitly states

              The term “U.S. person” includes all individuals, corporations and unincorporated associations resident in the United States, including the permanent domestic affiliates of foreign concerns. U.S. persons also include U.S. citizens abroad (except when they reside abroad and are employed by non-U.S. persons) and the controlled in fact affiliates of domestic concerns.
              .
              The problem there is that “The Office of Antiboycott Compliance” doesn’t get to define the term as it applies to text that supplies it’s own qualifier. If there were just the “U.S. persons” without a qualifier of any kind, then their definition would apply, but they don’t get to retroactively supersede existing law with their own definitions.
              .
              And by now you should have learned something, but I have a feeling you haven’t. Something about being led to water comes to mind. But no one can make you drink. I think I’ve typed quite enough on this. If you were in any way capable of grasping any of this you would have already seen the myriad of ways in which you went off the path, but your focus is too narrow to allow for any other possibility, and disproving more and more garbage you dig up isn’t likely to change that if it hasn’t already. Enjoy being ignorant…“Ignorance is bliss.”~unknown

              July 29, 2017
            5. fuall

              Huh, that’s weird. I guess a colon and an asterisk makes a kissy-face. Let’s try it now!

              July 29, 2017
            6. stevehayes13

              So as you don’t like the ACLU, maybe you will prefer the American Conservative:

              http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/a-radical-option-for-trump-on-middle-east-peace/

              which also shares my judgement.

              August 09, 2017
            7. fuall

              Your “judgement” is worth exactly ‘jack’ and ‘shit.’ There’s no helping you, you’re just too ignorant, and apparently want to stay that way. Good luck with that whole ignorance and stupidity thing, you’re going to need it.

              August 09, 2017