Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Outlawing boycotting? Is that legal?

Congressman Schiff,

Subject: The Israel Anti-Boycott Act

Just the title of the bill, Anti-Boycott Act, indicates how misguided it is. Americans should be free to boycott as a First Amendment right. This bill would criminalize some individuals who support the US Campaign for Palestinian Right’s call to boycott. Please urge Senate leadership not to include the Israel Anti-Boycott Act in the omnibus budget bill.

Your voting record shows that you vote for Israeli interests, and I believe that is to satisfy a strong element in your constituency so that you can stay in office where you can continue fighting the right on other issues. I understand that. Those members of your constituency who are implacably pro-Israel need to stop voting as a single mind and intimidating anyone who won't conform. That isn't democracy.

Please educate your pro-Israel voters regarding important issues:

1. Israel's identity as a nation came to an end with Titus' destruction of Jerusalem in 70, and the Bar Kokhba Revolt was unsuccessful in restoring Israel's identity in 136. The 18 centuries that separate the Bar Kokhba Revolt and Israel's declaration of statehood cannot be ignored. If any other nation attempted to regain their land after 18 centuries, it would provoke a war to protect the invaded nation. Israel is not exceptional. I've read that it's claimed that "Hadrian was only circumstantially connected" with renaming Israel to Syria Palaestina. Claims like that are simply historical revisionism. 18 centuries of non-identity as a nation cannot be ignored or rewritten.

2. The covenants God made with Moses, Abram, and Jacob giving the land to Israel forever are used as the basis for reclaiming the land and justification for murdering Palestinians, forcibly taking their properties, and erasing Palestinian history from the land. I believe a majority of Jews now accept that Torah, Nevi'im and Ketuvim were largely assembled during the reign of King Josiah and the Babylonian captivity and were not dictated verbatim to Moses. If the passage in II Kings 22 regarding the finding of the book of the law during Temple repairs is any indication, those covenants were written by the priests and scribes themselves but presented to the people as the writings of Moses. Forged documents are a very weak basis for reclaiming land after 18 centuries.

Please do not vote pro-Israel this time with the Israel Anti-Boycott Act in the omnibus budget bill. If it precipitates protests from your voters, please consider it a teachable moment.


John Garvey