Wednesday, 26 July 2017

U.S. Senators support bill making protests against the Israeli occupation of Palestine a crime!

GAZA 2014

WHEN the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said that Adolph Hitler had supported 'Zionism', he was denounced in some circles as a Hitler apologist.  However, when he was dragged before Labour's National Constitutional Committee, he wasn't charged with anti-Semitism, but with bringing the Labour Party into disrepute, the catch-all clause favoured by many organisations aimed at silencing and censuring critics within their ranks.

Likewise, when the former chair of 'Momentum', Jackie Walker, stated in a private conversation that:  'Many Jews, my ancestors too, were the chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade...' she was outed by the 'Israel Advocacy Movement' and accused of anti-Semitism and suspended by the Labour Party. 

Some pundits have argued that many of these type of accusations of anti-Semitism are not only bogus and spurious, but are really  aimed at trying to silence the critics of the Israeli State, such as the peaceful 'Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions' (BDS) movement and anti-Zionist supporters of the Palestinians. The type of people, for example, who condemned the shelling, bombing, and drone strikes, that killed 1500 civilians in Gaza in 2014, one third of them children.  When the man who ordered this attack, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, addressed the US Congress in February 2015, he was given 25 standing ovations.

Other critics have also drawn attention to the way in which countries like the UK have adopted the 'International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance' (IHRA) 'working definition' of anti-Semitism which includes over-sweeping condemnation of the state of Israel. Over 400 words long, this definition of anti-Semitism equates criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism and has already been adopted by the British police to help them decide what can be considered anti-Semitism, previously considered as 'hostility or hatred of Jews as Jews.'

Spurred on by this new IHRA 'working definition' of anti-Semitism, a group of Democratic Senators in America, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and fellow Senator Chuck Schumer, along with twelve other Democratic Senators around the country, are supporting a bipartisan bill that will make the act of protesting against that Israeli occupation of Palestine a crime in the U.S. If the bill gets passed and is signed off by the U.S. President (Dr Strangelove), Donald Trump, then protests action such as supporting the BDS movement, could result in a million dollar fine and 20 years in prison.

Some argue that if the law passes, it will act as a Trojan Horse to dismantle the first amendment that guarantees free speech and a free press and will define those who engage in peaceful political protests as 'terrorists'.

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