Buthainah Dugmag, attorney for Samir Kuntar, in her office in Rammallah on the West Bank. (Mohammed Bardou/MCT)

Guest Opinion: Israel Anti-Boycott bill doesn’t violate free speech

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The Israel Anti-Boycott bill is directed at the United Nations resolution calling for a boycott of Israeli-owned businesses on the West Bank. It prohibits cooperation with the boycott and with nongovernmental organizations’ calls for similar boycotts. It is carefully drafted to prohibit business acts, not speech. It also contains a declaration of policy that the United States opposes cooperation or support of any boycotts of Israel.

There are no penalties for violation of the policy by speech or acts other than business transactions. The bill is in line with long-established U.S. policy and laws that prohibit cooperation with the boycott of Israel by Arab/Muslim nation states. Pat Minor seems to either not have read the bill, not have understood it, or she does not understand the limits of the First Amendment.

There are many reasons that boycotting Israel is wrong. Most significantly, Israeli businesses in the West Bank, collectively, are the largest employers of non-Jewish residents of the West Bank. The people whom the boycott is supposed to help are the very ones who are hurt. Anti-Israel boycotts are not intended to improve the plight of the downtrodden. They are part of the seven-decades-long effort to destroy the state of Israel.

David Roston

Coralville

RELATED: Guest opinion: Congress’ Israel anti-boycott bill is anti-free speech

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