Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

US CONGRESS: Israel first–First Amendment second

Senators and Representatives in the US Congress are attempting to pass legislation which would criminalise the boycotting of Israel and also criminalise the advocacy of such boycotts. The legislation is clearly unconstitutional, yet this hasn’t stopped many in Congress from advocating for new restrictive laws.

Published

on

2,844 Views

In March of 2017, bills were introduced in the US Senate and House of Representatives which would criminalise support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as well as other organisations which advocate for a boycott of Israel and Israeli products.

Journalist Rob Wolfe summarised the effects of the proposed legislation as follows,

“The bill, which goes by H.R. 1697 and S. 720, would prohibit American businesses or individuals engaged in interstate or foreign commerce from ‘supporting any boycott fostered or imposed by an international organization, or requesting imposition of any such boycott, against Israel,’according to a congressional summary”.

This would have the effect of criminalising both small and large businesses run by Americans and/or businesses based in the United States from participating in or encouraging other businesses and individuals to boycott Israeli products, divest assets from Israel and advocate for sanctions of Israel.

The bills are fraught with problems on a legal, ethical and moral level.

1. First Amendment 

The first amendment to the United States Constitution protects the free speech of individuals and groups of individuals. By criminalising advocacy for a political cause, in this case for a boycott of Israel, the US Congress would be de-facto criminalising a form of non-violent speech which is protected by the First Amendment.

2. Free Enterprise 

The United States is a global advocate for free enterprise, but the proposed legislation would seek to enforce criminal penalties on companies for making the decision not to do business with Israeli firms or the Israeli state. Unless an existing contract was violated, in which case it would be a civil rather than a criminal matter, business have the right not to do businesses with whomever they desire.

Domestic anti-discrimination legislation does not apply because the BDS movement encourages the boycott of a foreign state state rather than individuals in the US.

3. Ethical

Many businessmen and women decide to operate their enterprises on an ethical level for a verity of reasons. A Christian business owner would likely not sponsor an event or take money from an event promoting perverse activities.

A Muslim business owner would likely not do business with a company that profits from the sale of anti-Muslim literature.

A Jewish business owner may well want to prioritise companies in Israel to show support for Zionism and likewise, a pro-Palestinian business owner might want to boycott Israel to show support for Palestinian freedom.

These ethical decisions should not be interfered with by government. Not only does American law protect private enterprise in this sense, but on a sheer ethical level, it would be wrong to force people to conduct business transactions against their will and against their conscience.

4. Moral 

One of the most outspoken supporters of BDS is Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters. Waters lives in the United States and is currently touring North America with his new musical performance Us + Them. This tour would likely be considered interstate commerce according to US law and furthermore, it is likely that a US company is set up to receive profits from the tour.

This could make Waters subject to criminal liability for a tour whose artistic content strongly promotes BDS.

Have we really got to a state of affairs wherein the US is willing to support regimes like Israel which continue to kill Palestinian demonstrators but a 73 year old musician and poet can be prosecuted for making a peaceful political statement to those who paid to hear it?

It is beyond the pale to think that the United States in the 21st century could criminalise such activity.

5. Hope 

Recently, the American Civil Liberties Union has written a letter to the co-sponsors of the bills asking them to reconsider their position on the grounds that it violates many existing US laws, including the Constitutional right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

This has caused several Congressional climb-downs. Also, the Jewish group J-Street which opposes BDS, has come out against the bills on the grounds of civil liberties.

Even if the bills were passed, the law would almost certainly not stand up in the courts and would end up being an embarrassment for those who drafted a clearly unconstitutional piece of legislation.

6. Worry 

In spite of the aforementioned hope, the lingering worry is that members of the US Congress who are elected to protect American citizens have decided to protect the public image of the Israeli state at the expense of the Constitutional freedoms guaranteed to all Americans. This is the biggest tragedy of the effort to pass legislation which amounts to a legal farce.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

Latest

Putin, Trump meet in Helsinki for first bilateral summit

The Helsinki summit is the first ever full-fledged meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Their previous encounters were brief talks on the sidelines of the G20 and APEC summits in 2017.

Vladimir Rodzianko

Published

on

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump are meeting in the Finnish capital of Helsinki for their first bilateral one-on-one meeting.

Trump arrived in the Finland capital a day early, while the jet of Putin, who wrapped up his nation’s hosting of the World Cup Sunday, touched down around 1 p.m. local time and the Russian president’s motorcade whisked him straight to the palace where the two world leaders are meeting.

Trump signed an August 2017 law imposing additional sanctions on Russia. The law bars Trump from easing many sanctions without Congress’ approval, but he can offer some relief without a nod from Congress.

Almost 700 Russian people and companies are under U.S. sanctions. Individuals face limits on their travel and freezes on at least some of their assets, while some top Russian state banks and companies, including oil and gas giants, are effectively barred from getting financing through U.S. banks and markets.

The agenda of the summit hasn’t been officially announced yet, though, the presidents are expected to discuss global crises, such as the Syrian conflict and Ukraine, as well as bilateral relations.

Stay tuned for updates…

Continue Reading

Latest

“Foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx): Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails was hacked by foreign actor, and it was not Russia.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

A stunning revelation that hardly anyone in the mainstream media is covering.

Fox News gave Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) the opportunity to explain what was going on during his questioning of Peter Strzok, when the the Texas Congressman stated that a “foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Aside from this segment on Fox News, this story is not getting any coverage, and we know why. It destroys the entire ‘Russia hacked Hillary’ narrative.

Gohmert states that this evidence is irrefutable and shows that a foreign actor, not connected to Russia in any way, intercepted and distributed Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via Zerohedge

As we sift through the ashes of Thursday’s dumpster-fire Congressional hearing with still employed FBI agent Peter Strzok, Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller plucked out a key exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) and Strzok which revealed a yet-unknown bombshell about the Clinton email case.

Nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her homebrew server went to a foreign entity that isn’t Russia. When this was discovered by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), IG Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Ruckner and an attorney to notify Strzok along with three other people about the “anomaly.”

Four separate attempts were also made to notify DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to brief him on the massive security breach, however Horowitz “never returned the call.” Recall that Horowitz concluded last month that despite Strzok’s extreme bias towards Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump – none of it translated to Strzok’s work at the FBI.

In other words; Strzok, while investigating Clinton’s email server, completely ignored the fact that most of Clinton’s emails were sent to a foreign entity – while IG Horowitz simply didn’t want to know about it.

Daily Caller reports…

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

Gohmert continued..

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

Strzok admitted to meeting with Ruckner but said he couldn’t remember the “specific” content of their discussion.

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

According to Zerohedge “Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call,” Gohmert said – and Horowitz wouldn’t return the call.

And while Peter Strzok couldn’t remember the specifics of his meeting with the IG about the giant “foreign entity” bombshell, he texted this to his mistress Lisa Page when the IG discovered the “(C)” classification on several of Clinton’s emails – something the FBI overlooked:

“Holy cow … if the FBI missed this, what else was missed? … Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this.”

Via Zerohedge

In November of 2017, IG McCullough – an Obama appointee – revealed to Fox News that he received pushback when he tried to tell former DNI James Clapper about the foreign entity which had Clinton’s emails and other anomalies.

Instead of being embraced for trying to expose an illegal act, seven senators including Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) wrote a letter accusing him of politicizing the issue.

“It’s absolutely irrelevant whether something is marked classified, it is the character of the information,” he said. Fox News reports…

McCullough said that from that point forward, he received only criticism and an “adversarial posture” from Congress when he tried to rectify the situation.

“I expected to be embraced and protected,” he said, adding that a Hill staffer “chided” him for failing to consider the “political consequences” of the information he was blowing the whistle on.

Continue Reading

Latest

Donald Trump plays good cop and bad cop with a weak Theresa May (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 55.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK was momentous, not for its substance, but rather for its sheer entertainment value.

Trump started his trip to the United Kingdom blasting Theresa May for her inability to negotiate a proper Brexit deal with the EU.  Trump ended his visit holding hands with the UK Prime Minister during a press conference where the most ‘special relationship’ between the two allies was once again reaffirmed.

Protests saw giant Trump “baby balloons” fly over London’s city center, as Trump played was his own good cop and bad cop to the UK PM, outside London at the Chequers…often times leaving May’s head spinning.

Even as Trump has left London, he remains front and center in the mind of Theresa May, who has now stated that Trump advised her to “sue” the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Brexit.

Trump had mentioned to reporters on Friday at a joint press conference with Theresa May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.”

Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.” May added…

“What the president also said at that press conference was `Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris summarize what was a state visit like no other, as Trump trolled the UK PM from beginning to end, and left London knowing that he got the better of a weakened British Prime Minister, who may not survive in office past next week.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via CNBC

It wasn’t exactly clear what Trump meant. The revelation came after explosive and undiplomatic remarks Trump made this week about May’s leadership — especially her handling of the Brexit negotiations — as he made his first official visit to Britain.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper published Thursday — just as May was hosting Trump at a lavish black-tie dinner — Trump said the British leader’s approach likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. He said he had told May how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”

He also praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, who quit last week as foreign secretary to protest May’s Brexit plans. Trump claimed Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”

The comments shocked many in Britain — even May’s opponents — and threatened to undermine May’s already fragile hold on power. Her Conservative government is deeply split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to keep close ties with the bloc, Britain’s biggest trading partner.

Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Advertisement

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement
Advertisements
Advertisement
Advertisements

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!

The Duran Newsletter

Trending