Dem presidential hopefuls vote against anti-BDS bill, as Van Hollen says it will ‘strengthen’ the peaceful BDS movement | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Dem presidential hopefuls vote against anti-BDS bill, as Van Hollen says it will ‘strengthen’ the peaceful BDS movement

The Senate is once again debating boycott against Israel today, in a sign that Middle East policy is politicized as never before.

The Senate voted overwhelmingly yesterday, 76 to 22, to proceed forward on S.1, a bill sponsored by Marco Rubio– and AIPAC, the leading Israel lobby group– that encourages states to adopt measures to financially punish “entities using boycotts, divestments, or sanctions to influence Israel’s policies.”

The anti-BDS language is an unconstitutional limitation of free speech, the ACLU has said; state laws aimed at crushing BDS have already cost employment to a number of people of good faith who are opposed to Israeli policies.

The good news is that progressive Democrats drew a line in the sand, and presidential hopefuls voted against the procedural vote. Even though no Senator has come out in support of BDS, many have acknowledged the right of their constituents to counter Israeli actions. In a long speech opposing the bill, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland said in its overreach, the bill will fuel the BDS movement because Americans will insist on their right to “peacefully” protest the Netanyahu government.

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