Boycott, divest, sanction: Non-violent protest actions
Last updated 8/23/2019 at 4:44pm
To the Editor:
July 4, 2019, Independence Day – a day to celebrate our freedoms. What many people of Washington state don’t know is that our senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, voted to limit our freedoms – freedom to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS). They supported S.1, Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act. This bill contains “Combating BDS Act” which encourages states and local governments to deny contracts to any business, nonprofit organization or individual boycotting for Palestinian freedom, justice and equality.
More recently, Representative McMorris Rodgers shamefully voted for H. Res 246, which is the House equivalent to the Senate Bill, restricting our freedoms to BDS.
Boycotting has always been a nonviolent way of fostering justice for centuries, and guaranteed in the First Amendment. The Quakers, for example, boycotted cotton to support the movement to abolish slavery. For those who believe that Israel has violated human rights, this economic, peaceful way of protesting unlawful settlements, jailing Palestinian children, and seizing the Golan Heights should be available.
BDS is not anti Semitic, as some would decry. It is designed to promote human rights, and curb Israel’s lawlessness. BDS is supported by Jewish Voices for Peace and at least ten faith traditions, including the Unitarian Universalists of America which met in Spokane in June.