They say you can’t have your cake and eat it too. But President Trump wants Americans to believe both Make America Great Again and Make Israel (Even) Greater can be achieved at the same time.
However , the reality so far seems to indicate Trump is unable to make fix America, let alone make it great. At the same, he certainly has made Israel greater than great. For example,
How US Senators & state lawmakers put foreign power first
‘Boycott Israel, we’ll boycott you’
Trump is Chosen by Jews?
Indeed, Trump has delivered everything Israel wanted, but practically zero, zilch, nada for Americans.
With the US Senate opening 2019 with a bill aimed at protecting Israel from boycott, similar state-level laws are facing opposition. One newspaper in Arkansas is suing the state, calling the boycott ban unconstitutional.
Given that the government is still partially shut down over President Trump’s plans to build a wall at the Mexican border, one would imagine the first piece of legislation rolled out by the Senate this year would prioritize breaking the impasse and ending the shutdown. Not so.
Instead, S.1 is a collection of foreign policy measures aimed at strengthening military cooperation between the US and Jordan, reiterating opposition to Syrian leader Bashar Assad, appropriating foreign aid money for Israel, and – most controversially – giving state and local government the authority to refuse to do business with firms that boycott Israel.
The bill is sponsored by Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a longtime opponent of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement and ally of AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby.
First item the Senate will take up in the new congress will be our bill to deal with the crisis in #Syria & support our allies in the Middle East.
You can read the text of our bill Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019 here: https://t.co/fRIIT9zHw5
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) January 4, 2019
Aside from Rubio, the bill is expected to receive the bipartisan support necessary to muster a Senate majority. A similar bill introduced by Rubio last year was cosponsored by several Democrats, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) is expected to support this latest effort, the Intercept reported.
While Rubio’s bill is a watered-down version of a hardcore piece of legislation introduced by Democrat Ben Cardin (Maryland) in 2017 that would have actually criminalized boycotting Israel, the American Civil Liberties Union has still sounded the alarm.
“The legislation…sends a message to Americans that they will be penalized if they dare to disagree with their government,”ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Kathleen Ruane told the Intercept. “We therefore urge senators to vote no on the Combating BDS Act next week.”
Trump gave Israel Jerusalem (as capital), relocated the U.S. Embassy there, pulled U.S.out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, retained American troops in Syria that no American wanted, even provide Israel with addition military aids when Israel is already a military superpower, and the list goes one.
On the other hand, Trump couldn’t even secure $5 billions as the bare minimal funding to build the Wall he has been bragging for ages. The amount is even less than the military aids given to Israel (against American wishes). The initial budget was $70 billions, Never the rest of the promises.
State-level legislation offers a glimpse of what Rubio’s bill might look like in action. Anti-BDS legislation has already been enacted in 26 states, where it has already cost some employees their jobs, and has been met with legal challenges.
Bahia Amawi, a speech pathologist working for the Pflugerville Independent School District in Texas, lost her job last August when she refused to sign a contract promising to refrain from any action “that is intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with Israel, or with a person or entity doing business in Israel or in an Israel-controlled territory.”
Amawi, a US citizen who believes Israel is illegally occupying Palestinian territory and boycotts Israeli products, filed a lawsuit alleging a violation of her First Amendment right to free speech. The lawsuit is currently in the works, but the Texas anti-BDS legislation has the full support of Governor Greg Abbott (R), who said that “any anti-Israel policy is an anti-Texas policy.”
Similar lawsuits have been filed in Arizona and Kansas, on behalf of two state contractors who, like Amawi, refused to sign an oath pledging not to boycott the Jewish state.
The latest challenge to anti-BDS laws comes from Arkansas, where a newspaper has decided to fight the oath on principle. The Arkansas Times has never published an op-ed critical of Israel, but when the University of Arkansas refused to advertise with the newspaper unless the Times signed the oath, the paper’s staff decided to sue.
“Why should an American citizen have to take a position in favor of the foreign policy of a foreign government just so it can do business with its own government” pic.twitter.com/VryZKO4X26
— Ayman Mohyeldin (@AymanM) January 7, 2019
“Why should an American citizen have to take a position in favor of the foreign policy of a foreign government just so he can do business with its own government,” Arkansas Times publisher Jan Everett told MSNBC. “What kind of thinking is that?”
The first state-level anti-BDS law was passed by Tennessee in 2015. In all 26 states that have enacted anti-BDS legislation since then, the legislations’ provisions are broadly the same, prohibiting companies or individuals who boycott Israel from doing business with the government. In some states, like Louisiana, the law only targets large contractors. Otherwise the bills have all been almost identical.
Despite the party allegiances of those responsible for the legislation, the language used to support it has been the same. New York’s Democratic Governor, Andrew Cuomo, echoed Texas Republican Greg Abbott when he described BDS as an “economic attack” on Israel and stated “If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you.” … More @ RT
Meanwhile in Holyland,
5 Israeli Minors Accused of Throwing Stones that Killed Palestinian Mother of 9
The Teenagers’ Attorneys Have Accused The Shin Bet Security Service Of Abusing Their Clients.
After holding them for nearly a week, the Israeli security service Shin Bet lifted a publication ban Sunday on charges against five Israeli teenagers who accused of “terrorist offenses,” including murder, related to a stone-throwing incident that killed a Palestinian woman in October.
The boys, who are all students from Rehelim, are alleged to have thrown stones at a Palestinian car, which resulted in the death of an Arab woman who was the mother of nine children. Details from the Shin Bet investigation, as well as the identities of the boys involved, still remain under a gag order.
The teens’ lawyers were allowed to meet with their clients for the first time Saturday night after they were in custody for more than a week. They then accused Shin Bet investigators of engaging in “severe manipulation” that left their clients in “serious trauma.”
Shin Bet issued the following statement in response:
“Claims of their denial are baseless and aim at diverting the discourse from the serious suspicions for which they were detained and at bringing the service in disrepute. We will not be deterred from our efforts against terror in any form in keeping with national values and for the sake of national security.”
The boys will remain in custody until at least Thursday.