Israel hits legal wall in US censorship battle
Israel has demonstrated that it can and will do anything to achieve its ultimate goals of pushing Palestinians out of their homes and expanding its political influence throughout the world.
The apartheid Jewish state’s success relies on its ability to exploit the uneducated, using clever communications propaganda to suppress truth in the West, especially in America. But there is one thing it can’t suppress: The international rule of law, which reigns supreme at the bloodied border of Gaza, on the streets of the embattled occupied city of Jerusalem, and before judicial tribunals in the courtrooms it cannot control.
That was demonstrated clearly last week in an obscure little courtroom in Coconino County, Arizona — one of the most politically conservative of America’s 50 states. In an unprecedented rejection of all that today’s racist, right-wing Israel stands for, a courageous federal judge ruled that the law cannot be bent to accommodate Israel’s illegal conduct.
US Federal District Court Judge Diane J. Humetewa suspended an Arizona state law that has been spreading across America like a cancer, singling out critics of Israel for special punishment. The anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction) law targets anyone who “boycotts” Israel for any reason, denying them the ability to receive contracts from the state.
Many Americans boycott Israel because its racist, apartheid government discriminates against Palestinians. But, in 2015, the sinister Israeli lobby in America devised a plan to punish supporters of Palestine. Israel has succeeded in getting the legislatures in 25 US states to introduce or adopt a law that declares no one can receive state-controlled contracts or business if they support a boycott of the state of Israel.
The plan is simple. In order to receive any state contracts or funding, all contractors must sign an affidavit that they do not participate in a boycott of Israel. “Boycott” is a big word that encompasses everything from refusing to buy products from Israel, to entertainers refusing to perform there, or even criticizing Israel’s illegal settlement policies. Israel has arrested civilians traveling across its borders who have engaged in criticism of its leadership or have supported the BDS movement, even detaining its own citizens.
The anti-BDS laws incontestably violate the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which states clearly and concisely: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Federal laws apply at every level of American life and are the cornerstones of true democracies — but are a canon missing from Israel’s false assertions that it is the “only democracy” in the Middle East. No nation that discriminates on the basis of race or religion, as Israel does, can be a democracy. That’s why Israel so easily sidesteps fundamental human rights and imposes a dual system of laws; one for Jews and another for Christians and Muslims.
The apartheid Jewish state’s success relies on its ability to exploit the uneducated, using clever communications propaganda to suppress truth in the West, especially in America
The first state to pass the unconstitutional law against Americans who criticize or boycott Israel was Tennessee in April 2015. Since then, 24 more states have passed similar anti-BDS laws. Last year, a judge in Kansas issued an injunction against the law, but it was viewed as an aberration — an anomaly in the face of widespread blind support for Israel’s continued atrocities and undemocratic practices.
But Arizona has now declared loud and clear that justice for human rights is on its way. Humetewa’s injunction virtually kills the anti-BDS law in Arizona and stands out like a bright star in the dark sky as the basis for other states to do the same.
All you need to stand up to Israel is the determination to fight against injustice, embrace non-violence, abide by the laws of human dignity and rights, and a little money to pay for a good attorney to advocate for your rights.
The challenge to the anti-BDS law was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a non-political legal advocacy group that champions civil and human rights laws. The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of Arizona lawyer Mikkel Jordahl, who briefly lived in Israel in the 1970s, showing that similar lawsuits can easily be filed in each of the remaining 23 states.
Israel’s lobby is already gearing up to push for one law in the US Congress, where most of the elected representatives live in an Israeli-induced headlock preventing them from challenging Israel’s actions. If they did, they would face losing huge campaign donations and financial backing.
But that federal legislation, if passed, can also be stopped with the rule of law. The proper use of the rule of law can protect the fundamental human rights that governments like Israel seek to destroy.
- Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian American columnist and the author of several books including “Yalla! Fight Back.” His personal website is www.Hanania.com. Twitter: @RayHanania.