Congress should be mindful of anti-Semitic bill proposals

Ali Qazi

Majority of Americans are focusing on the shutdown while majority of Republican senators are focusing on foreign policy. Israel’s sharp eye on Capitol Hill is not anything new. History tells us Israel has always wanted one thing: the rights of Americans taken away. However this time the request was denied from democrats who had the bigger prize in mind, America. Senator Rubio introduced a bill Jan 8which would authorize state and local governments to legally fight back against those who openly protest against Israel in any way, shape or form.The challenging issue is trying to bring up this issue without seeming anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitic actions include any hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.

 

“It’s absurd that the first bill during the shutdown is legislation which punishes Americans who exercise their constitutional right to engage in political activity. Democrats must block consideration of any bills that don’t reopen the government. Let’s get our priorities right.” Bernie sanders, a senator from Vermont said in a Jan. 6 tweet.

 

It’s upsetting to see the first bill of the year trying to be passed regarding another country and a violation of the first amendment. Democrats have, in fact, denied passing the law at the moment because their intention is to reopen the government as fast as possible. With no help from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or the White House,the solution to resolve the shutdown seems long way from home.

 

“They forgot what country they represent. This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right and part of our historical fight for freedom and equality. Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away.” First-year Rep. Rashida Tlaib said in response to Sen. Sanders in a tweet on Jan. 6.

 

BDS or the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law. This is to help the people of Palestine and Israel coexist and be treated as citizens. At the moment, 1.8 million Palestinians are being treated as third-class citizens and are unable to have access to clean water, food, shelter and basic needs due to Israel’s blockades and sanctions. Because of these reasons, BDS has felt peaceful boycotts are the only effective way to protest against oppressors. So far, it’s had a positive outcome, with Sen. Rubio  tweeting at Talib.

 

“This ‘dual loyalty’ canard is a typical anti-Semitic line. #BDS isn’t about freedom & equality, it’s about destroying #Israel And if boycotting #Israel is constitutionally protected, then boycotting companies that boycott #Israel is also constitutionally protected,” Rubio tweeted Jan. 7.

When it comes to peaceful protesting and boycotts, congressmen and women should keep in mind Israel or any other country isn’t protected.