Jewish Billionaires, Puppet Politicians Take Aim at BDS Movement in Global Campaign
Named for the Jewish parliamentarian who introduced it in 2003, the law is among the world’s most potent legislative tools to fight the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, and has catapulted France to the forefront of efforts to counter the movement through legal means.
“The French government and judiciary’s determination in fighting discrimination, and the Lellouche law especially, are exemplary for Belgium and other nations where discriminatory BDS is happening,” said Joel Rubinfeld, co-chair of the European Jewish Parliament and president of the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism.
Under the plan all publicly funded institutions will lose the freedom to refuse to buy goods and services from companies involved in the arms trade, fossil fuels, tobacco products or Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.Any public bodies that continue to pursue boycotts will face “severe penalties”, ministers said.Senior government sources said they were cracking down on town-hall boycotts because they “undermined good community relations, poisoned and polarised debate and fuelled anti-Semitism”.
This law represents, truly, an extraordinary constitutional usurpation by Congress. If left unchallenged, it will compel U.S. trade officials to act as if the U.S. de facto recognizes Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank, even though the executive has granted no such recognition. In doing so, it will transform U.S. trade negotiators into defenders and lobbyists for settlements, contrary to consistent U.S. policy dating back almost half a century, to the birth of the settlement project.
- A description of “barriers to trade” being imposed upon any “United States persons” doing business either in Israel, the Occupied Territories, or with any “Israeli entities”;
- A description of “specific steps” being taken to persuade any “international organizations” who may be involved in BDS advocacy, and any “foreign countries” as well, to “cease creating such barriers and to dismantle measures already in place, and an assessment of the effectiveness of such steps”;
- A description of “specific steps” being taken to prevent “investigations or prosecutions” of “United States persons” on the basis of doing business with Israel (the legal definition of a “United States person” can include “any agency or branch of a foreign entity located in the United States,” although the law itself seems to offer a more limited definition);
- Decisions by “foreign persons, including corporate entities and state affiliated financial institutions” who “limit or prohibit economic relations with Israel or persons doing business in Israel or in any territory controlled by Israel.”
- HR 4514/S 2531–the “Combatting BDS Act of 2016.” The bill seeks to “authorize State and local governments to divest from entities that engage in commerce or investment-related boycott, divestment, or sanctions activities targeting Israel, and for other purposes.”
- HR 4503–the “Fair Treatment of Israel in Product Labeling Act of 2016.” Would allow the word “Israel” to be used on labels for goods originating from the West Bank or the Gaza Strip.
- H.Res. 567/S.Res.346–expressing opposition–to the EU initiative requiring goods from the Occupied Territories to be labeled as such–on the grounds that “such actions undermine efforts to achieve a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian peace process”
- HR 4522/S 2537–the “PLO Accountability Act”–seeks to shut down the PLO office in Washington (the Senate bill was introduced by Ted Cruz);
Leading Jewish mega-donors have summoned pro-Israel activists for a closed-door meeting in Las Vegas to establish, and fund, successful strategies for countering the wave of anti-Israel activity on college campuses.The meeting, taking place this weekend, will be hosted by casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson and was organized by several other top Jewish funders, including Hollywood entertainment mogul Haim Saban, Israeli-born real-estate developer Adam Milstein and Canadian businesswoman Heather Reisman.Organizers have sought to keep the gathering secret and have declined to respond to inquiries from the Forward that would confirm the upcoming meeting with two separate informed sources.