(JTA) — An influential progressive political action committee denounced a bipartisan measure targeting boycotts of Israel and its settlements.
MoveOn.org, an influential liberal public policy advocacy group and PAC that raises money for progressive political candidates, criticized the Israel Anti-Boycott Act on Twitter.
“Regardless how you feel about BDS, Congress must reject action to criminalize free speech and peaceful protest. The Democrats in House and Senate must say no to H.R. 1697/S. 720,” MoveOn.org tweeted, referring to the House and Senate versions of the bill.
“Free speech and peaceful protest are integral to democracy,” the group added.
Regardless how you feel about BDS, Congress must reject action to criminalize free speech & peaceful protest (1/3) — MoveOn.org (@MoveOn) July 19, 2017
The bill, introduced in March in both the House and the Senate, would expand 1970s-era laws that make illegal compliance with boycotts of Israel sponsored by governments — laws inspired at the time by the Arab League boycott of Israel, to include boycotts backed by international organizations. Those adhering to boycotts would be subject to fines.
It also targets efforts by the United Nations and the European Union to distinguish between products manufactured in Israel and West Bank settlements.