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Israel hits legal wall in censorship battle
Israel’s campaign to bully and censor its critics has expanded from imposing censorship of journalists in Israel and harsher brutal censorship on journalists in the occupied Wes Bank and Occupied Jerusalem has expanded further to foreign lands through its sinister AIPAC Lobby. The lobby and its allies have advocated hate-driven campaigns to pass laws that punish critics of Israel, including the supporters of the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement which seeks to prevent Israel from profiting illegally in violation of international law from the theft of Arab-owned lands and assets. But in Kansas and Arizona, their sinister plot has backfired
By Ray Hanania
Israel has demonstrated that it can and will do anything to achieve its ultimate goal to cleanse Palestine and Jerusalem of Christians and Muslims, and expand its political authority throughout the World.
The Apartheid Jewish-State’s success relies on its ability to exploit the uneducated, using clever communications propaganda to suppress truth in the West, especially in America.
But there is one thing it can’t suppress, the International Rule of Law which reigns supreme at the bloodied border of Gaza, on the streets of the embattled occupied City of Jerusalem, and before judicial tribunals in the courtrooms it cannot control.
That was demonstrated clearly last week in an obscure little courtroom in Coconino County in Arizona, one of the most politically conservative of America’s 50 states. In an unprecedented rejection of all that today’s racist rightwing Israel stands for, a courageous Federal Judge ruled that the law cannot be bent to accommodate Israel’s illegal conduct.
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U.S. Federal District Court Judge Diane J. Humetewa suspended an Arizona State law that has been spreading across America like a cancer that singles out critics of Israel for special punishment. The anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanction) Law targets anyone who “boycotts” Israel for any reason denying them the ability to receive contracts from the state.
Many Americans boycott Israel because is racist, Apartheid government discriminates against Muslim and Christian Arabs.
Since 2015, the sinister Israeli lobby in America devised a plan to punish supporters of Palestine. Using the law, Israel has succeeded in getting the legislatures in 25 U.S. States to introduce or adopt a law that declares no one can receive state-controlled contracts or business if they support a boycott of the State of Israel.
The plan is simple. In order to receive any state contracts or funding, all contractors must sign an affidavit that they do not participate in a “boycott” of Israel. “Boycott” is a big word that encompasses everything from refusing to buy products from Israel to entertainers refusing to perform in Israel, or even criticizing Israel’s illegal settlement policies. Israel has arrested civilians traveling through its borders who have engaged in criticism leadership or have supported the boycott, even detaining its own “Israeli citizens.”
The anti-BDS laws incontestably violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states clearly and concisely, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
The Federal Law applies at every level in American life and it is the cornerstone of true Democracies, a Canon that is missing from Israel’s false assertions that it is the “only Democracy” in the Middle East. No nation that discriminates on the basis of race or religion, as Israel so violating does, can be a Democracy. That’s why Israel so easily sidesteps fundamental human rights, imposes a dual system of laws one for Jews and another for Christians and Muslims.
The first State to pass the unconstitutional law against Americans who criticize or boycott Israel was passed by the State of Tennessee in April 2015. Since then, 24 more states have passed or introduced similar anti-BDS laws. They are: South Carolina (June 2015), Illinois (July 2015), Alabama (February 2016), Colorado (February 2016), Indiana (March 2016), Florida (March 2016), Virginia (March 2016), Arizona (March 2016), Georgia (April 2016), Iowa (May 2016), New York (June 2016), New Jersey (August 2016), California Sept. 2016), Pennsylvania (November 2016), Ohio (December 2016), Michigan (January 2017), Texas (May 2017), Minnesota (May 2017), Nevada (2017), Kansas June 2017), North Carolina (July 2017), Maryland (October 2017), Wisconsin (October 2017), and Louisiana (May 2018).
Last year, a judge in Kansas also issued an injunction against the anti-BDS law, but it was viewed as an aberration, An anomaly in the face of widespread blind support for Israel’s continued atrocities and undemocratic practices.
Arizona declares loud and clear that Justice for human rights is on its way. While politicians in Arizona have led America in giving blind support to Israel’s brutal oppressive policies and its violations of human rights, Arizona’s judicial system cannot ride roughshod over a law so powerful that it defines the face of true Democracies.
Humetewa’s injunction virtually kills the anti-BDS law in Arizona and stands out like a bright star in the dark sky as the basis for other states to do the same.
All you need to standup to Israel is the determination to fight against injustice, embrace non-violence, abide by the laws of human dignity and rights, and, a little money to pay for a good attorney to advocate for your rights.
The challenge to the anti-BDS law was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a non-political legal advocacy group that champions civil and human rights laws. A lawyer in Arizona, attorney Mikkel Jordahl, who lived in Israel briefly, filed the lawsuit with the ACLU’s support in Arizona showing that similar lawsuits can easily be filed in each of the remaining 23 States.
Israel’s lobby is already gearing up to push for one law in the U.S. Congress where most of the 435 Congressmen live in an Israeli-induced headlock preventing them from challenging Israel’s actions, or face losing huge campaign donations and financial backing.
But that Federal legislation, if passed, can be stopped, too, with the Rule of Law and money. Just like they stopped Apartheid in South Africa. Just like they jailed Nazis decades after World War II. Just like they have prosecuted wars on terrorism across the world. The proper use of the Rule of Law can protect the fundamental human rights that governments like Israel seek to destroy.
Ray Hanania is an award-winning Palestinian American columnist and the author of several books including “Yalla! Fight Back.” His personal website is www.Hanania.com. Twitter: @RayHanania. Check out his audio podcasts at www.TheArabStreet.org.
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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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