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Pro-Anti-BDS? Anti-Anti-BDS? Persuade Me!

 
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Fox




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jan 07 2019, 11:06 pm
Usually I've got opinions. Plenty of opinions. And that's just about handbags. Smile

But I'm struggling with this, and I'd like to hear everyone's perspective.

One of the first items to come before the Senate will be a version of the Combating BDS Act of 2017 sponsored by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Here's the summary of the legislation from the congress.gov website (S.170):

Quote:
This bill allows a state or local government to adopt and enforce measures to divest its assets from, prohibit investment of its assets in, or restrict contracting with: (1) an entity that engages in a commerce- or investment-related boycott, divestment, or sanctions activity targeting Israel; or (2) an entity that owns or controls, is owned or controlled by, or is under common ownership or control with such an entity. Such measures are not preempted by federal law. A state or local government that seeks to adopt or enforce such measures shall comply with specified requirements related to notice, timing, and opportunity for comment.

In addition, the bill amends the Investment Company Act of 1940 to prohibit a person from bringing any civil, criminal, or administrative action against a registered investment company based solely upon that company's divestment from securities issued by a person that engages in a commerce- or investment-related boycott, divestment, or sanctions activity targeting Israel.


The purpose is to shore up anti-BDS laws passed by states that prevent the state from doing business with any "entity" that boycotts Israel. In most cases, this also precludes state pension funds and similar investment funds from investing in companies that boycott Israel.

I'm going to assume that virtually everyone on Imamother considers BDS campaigns to be a bad thing. Even if you're a staunch anti-Zionist, it's pretty clear that the BDS movement regularly spills over into outright anti-Semitism and is often a trigger for other anti-Semitic activity.

But are anti-BDS laws the best way to combat the problem?

Pros: If You Don't Do Business with Israel, Don't Do Business with Us
* Companies are susceptible to pressure and manipulation and we should therefore require that they refrain from BDS boycotts.

* Arab nations have long insisted that companies boycott Israel, often to the detriment of Israel.

* State legislation of this nature is simply a way to carry out U.S. foreign policy.

* State legislation prohibiting entities from boycotting Israel is an effective way to avoid empowering anti-Semitic forces.

* U.N. blacklists will make it difficult for companies to do business abroad if they are not boycotting Israel. Therefore, state legislation gives them an "out" for participating in boycotts.

* Will these laws be genuinely detrimental to the BDS movement?

* Federal law allows the regulation of interstate and international commerce, of which this is a function.

Cons: Who Are You to Tell Me I Can't Boycott Israel?
* "Entities" often involve individual subcontractors or small companies employing a handful of individuals. The distinction between an individual refusing to do business and an "entity" is often blurry.

* Two federal courts have declared such state law unconstitutional because they infringe on freedom of speech.

* The ACLU has come out against this legislation.

* The legislation singles out Israel, therefore making it a special case, for better or worse.

* Is this an effective way to combat the BDS movement? Might there be unintended consequences?
______________________________

The best part, though, is that this is a truly bipartisan cause. Everybody (almost) likes this legislation. So our usual Democrat versus Republican and Liberal versus Conservative squabbles are completely irrelevant. And Trump is irrelevant. If it's a bad idea, everyone in DC is eager to be wrong together.

So are you Pro-Anti-BDS or Anti-Anti-BDS? What's your reasoning either way?


Last edited by Fox on Mon, Jan 07 2019, 11:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ectomorph




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Jan 07 2019, 11:10 pm
To a lot of anti Semites this will confirm jewish/Israel power.
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amother




Maroon


Post  Tue, Jan 08 2019, 12:02 am
So let me get this straight. This is a bill to pass a Federal law so that no other Federal laws can be passed that would invalidate any state laws on BDS, so long as those state laws on BDS conform to the template provided.

To have an opinion on this - I would need a much stronger opinion on the interplay of the Federal and State governments, and the relevant constitutional issues than I do. For that I would need more education.
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Fox




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jan 08 2019, 12:10 am
amother wrote:
So let me get this straight. This is a bill to pass a Federal law so that no other Federal laws can be passed that would invalidate any state laws on BDS, so long as those state laws on BDS conform to the template provided.

As I understand it, the purpose of the bill is to make it harder for courts to declare state anti-BDS laws to be unconstitutional. In other words, if I bring a case against Illinois to the federal court because I'm required to sign an anti-BDS statement in order to get a state government contract, the attorneys representing Illinois can say, "But we have the federal government on our side."

It wouldn't necessarily be a slam-dunk, but it would be harder for a judge to overrule a state law that is proven to simply comply with federal law.

Jump in and correct me if I'm misunderstanding this.
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amother




Maroon


Post  Tue, Jan 08 2019, 1:18 am
Fox wrote:
As I understand it, the purpose of the bill is to make it harder for courts to declare state anti-BDS laws to be unconstitutional. In other words, if I bring a case against Illinois to the federal court because I'm required to sign an anti-BDS statement in order to get a state government contract, the attorneys representing Illinois can say, "But we have the federal government on our side."

It wouldn't necessarily be a slam-dunk, but it would be harder for a judge to overrule a state law that is proven to simply comply with federal law.

Jump in and correct me if I'm misunderstanding this.


I'm not clear that's what nonpreemption means - but as I said - I don't have enough knowledge in this area to really know.

I think what you are saying is this signals to the Federal courts there there are no Federal laws around BDS that should be read as implied preemption to whatever anti-BDS measures the states want to put into place (so long as the measures fit XYZ guidelines).

Or as you put it 'shoring - up'. We here in DC support ant-BDS, if you want to do it, we're not going to stop you. If your rules are found to be sound at the state level - that's all that will be needed.

Okay. I'm still not knowledgeable to have a reasoned opinion on that.
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DrMom




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jan 08 2019, 5:56 am
Although I appreciate the sentiment (esp in the atmosphere of increasing anti-Israel activity from the Left), the Libertarian in my says this proposed law is wrong.

But I'm no legal scholar.
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Fox




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jan 08 2019, 2:31 pm
DrMom wrote:
Although I appreciate the sentiment (esp in the atmosphere of increasing anti-Israel activity from the Left), the Libertarian in my says this proposed law is wrong.

But I'm no legal scholar.

That's my immediate take, too. It seems like this sets a precedent that we might eventually regret.

At the same time, I appreciate how vulnerable companies are to online mobs and bad publicity. I resist the idea that the solution is legislation, but I also understand the difficulty in fighting now only literal wars against one's enemies but PR wars, too.

Seems like we'll have to daven and let Hashem be in charge of this.

At the same time, I'm kind of amused that there is so little interest in this thread. Seems like issues that defy sarcastic one-liners and easy categories aren't as attractive. Confused
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amother




Maroon


Post  Tue, Jan 08 2019, 3:40 pm
Fox wrote:
That's my immediate take, too. It seems like this sets a precedent that we might eventually regret.

At the same time, I appreciate how vulnerable companies are to online mobs and bad publicity. I resist the idea that the solution is legislation, but I also understand the difficulty in fighting now only literal wars against one's enemies but PR wars, too.

Seems like we'll have to daven and let Hashem be in charge of this.

At the same time, I'm kind of amused that there is so little interest in this thread. Seems like issues that defy sarcastic one-liners and easy categories aren't as attractive. Confused


You started it late at night. Its not about should State Government intact antiBDS legislation - rather the interplay between Fed Gov and State Gov on that legislation. Its kinda out-there as small chat.

(as per one of your points - if two Courts have already found the state laws potentially unconstitutional - this is really a big nothing).
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Fox




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jan 08 2019, 3:50 pm
amother wrote:
if two Courts have already found the state laws potentially unconstitutional - this is really a big nothing).

Not necessarily. These decisions are not binding on other judges, and there is a strong counter-argument that SCOTUS has long upheld states' rights to regulate commerce. The question is whether BDS is political speech or commercial action.

However, I'm interested in people's general opinions about anti-BDS legislation, however it might eventually play out in the courts.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jan 08 2019, 3:54 pm
Fox wrote:
That's my immediate take, too. It seems like this sets a precedent that we might eventually regret.

At the same time, I appreciate how vulnerable companies are to online mobs and bad publicity. I resist the idea that the solution is legislation, but I also understand the difficulty in fighting now only literal wars against one's enemies but PR wars, too.

Seems like we'll have to daven and let Hashem be in charge of this.

At the same time, I'm kind of amused that there is so little interest in this thread. Seems like issues that defy sarcastic one-liners and easy categories aren't as attractive. Confused


As opposed to everything else in life? Wink

ETA to fix format mistake due to oversnipping.


Last edited by PinkFridge on Tue, Jan 08 2019, 4:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Fox




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Jan 08 2019, 4:01 pm
PinkFridge wrote:
As opposed to everything else in life? Wink

Lol, touché!

Maybe Hashem likes to toss us an issue every so often that defies our tendency to bombard Him with our opinions! Very Happy
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Ruchel




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 3:29 am
My country kah was the first to ban it.
Still some try and justice is always slow for everything. But at least if it's local they can do something eventually.
Yes for some it confirms Jewish power and or Israeli power.
I say, I'm not American so I don't enjoy full free speech and it goes with it, so I like the ban.
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cbsp




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 9:40 pm
This is an interesting article. I also think the first (last?) comment by Rez Zircon is worth reading :

http://www.jewishworldreview.c.....10919.php3

IIRC honestreporting.com also did a video about it, I'll see if I can find it...
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cbsp




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jan 09 2019, 9:50 pm
cbsp wrote:
This is an interesting article. I also think the first (last?) comment by Rez Zircon is worth reading :

http://www.jewishworldreview.c.....10919.php3

IIRC honestreporting.com also did a video about it, I'll see if I can find it...


Ok, not seeing a video but some salient points are discussed here :

https://honestreporting.com/ne.....ht-to-bds/
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