Across the country, anti-Palestinian, pro-occupation organizations and legislators are trying to suppress the growing movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel – a grassroots movement that holds Israel accountable for its ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights. Palestine Legal has established a reference for these types of bills across the United States at righttoboycott.org. NLG members are involved across the United States in working to stop these dangerous bills that threaten our right to boycott and our right to freedom of expression.
In California, one of these bills is being considered before the Judiciary Committee of the state legislature this Tuesday, April 19. Please take action to stop AB 2844! This state bill attacks efforts to end Israel’s occupation and violations of human rights by penalizing companies that are identified as observing a boycott of Israel — a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution. AB 2844 would prohibit the state of California and public entities in California from from doing business with companies that boycott Israel.
Anyone who possibly can, please come to the State Capitol, room 437 for the Judiciary Committee hearing, starting at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 19. Unfortunately, there will probably be no way to know in advance when the bill will come up — it could be at 8:30 or much later.
Please send messages of opposition to members of the committee. Jewish Voice for Peace has set up an online letter for California residents: take action here.
Please also write and call your own legislators and the members of the Committee. The list of Committee Members is at http://ajud.assembly.ca.gov/membersstaff. You can also send a message of opposition to the committee secretary, Cindy.Morante@asm.ca.gov, 916 319-2334. Please also write to your own member of the legislature. If you aren’t sure who it is, click here.
I call on you and your committee to oppose AB 2844, an unconstitutional attack on free speech with provisions that would be impossible to implement in any rational manner.
Whether or not one agrees with any particular boycott or divestment campaign aimed at pressing Israel to end its occupation, obey international law and respect Palestinian human rights, participation in such activities, in response to a call from Palestinians using nonviolent methods to secure their freedom, is a legitimate form of expression, protected by the U.S. and state constitutions. The state must not deny financial relationships to people or organizations on account of their political views.
California can lead the way in stopping a wave of such illegal legislation around the country. I look forward to hearing your commitment to oppose AB 2844 or anything like it.
Please register my opposition to this bill as part of the public record.
Download, read and share the legal memo with your legislators, prepared by NLG along with Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights: Legal Memo on anti-BDS Legislation in California: AB2844
The following legal memo was prepared in opposition to two earlier, stalled anti-BDS bills in California, AB 1551 and 1552: Legal Memo on anti-BDS legislation in California: AB 1551 and AB 1552
Photo: Ken Lund/Flickr