On January 21, I wrote an article indicating that the US Senate was considering an anti-BDS law (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) aimed, among other things, at protecting Israel from a boycott by American citizens and entities who would find the action of the Jewish state reprehensible and who would like to express their disapproval.
Against all odds, this law did not pass because the number of votes in its favour did not reach the necessary 60 votes (out of 100 senators). The text received only 56 votes to 44.
So what happened and what lessons can we learn from this vote?
– The bill was presented by Republican senators who have a majority in the Senate 53 to 47.
All it took was for 7 Democratic senators to betray their camp, for the benefit of the Hebrew state, to obtain the 60 votes necessary to pass the law in the Senate. The problem is that the project was presented by the Republican Senators and it was out of the question for the Democrats to support any project from the Republicans, especially in this period of shutdown…. The hatred of democrats, engaged in a fight to the death against Trump, has reached such a level that it now almost prohibits the consideration of a bipartisan project.
– Two of the most influential Democratic Senators in the Jewish community, Bernie Sanders and Dianne Feinstein, campaigned against the bill on the grounds that it undermined freedom of expression in the United States. At least that is what Haaretz told us in an article on December 19. This position may have played a role in the final result.
– We can see that it took only 4 votes for the project to pass to the Senate, which did not guarantee that it would pass to the House of Representatives (with a Democratic majority). This small difference shows that it is likely that such a project will be represented, at a more appropriate time, until it eventually passes. AIPAC is tenacious and its objectives are long-term….
– We also note that this anti-BDS bill, nicely entitled: “The 2019 Law on Strengthening American Security in the Middle East”, also provided financial assistance to Israel and Jordan, as well as measures against the regime of Syrian President Bashar el Assad. For financial assistance, it was $38 billion over ten years. For a country (the USA) whose federal debt will reach $22 trillion by February 10, it may have been asking a lot from US taxpayers without the return on investment being very obvious………
In conclusion to this unexpected vote, we can only recognize the importance of freedom of expression, in all its forms, in the United States.
This freedom of expression contrasts with that observed in France, at least if we believe the results of the Libertex index, argued, sourced and published on the following link:
We are far from this US freedom of expression in our dear country where justice, highly instrumentalized by politicians, under the influence/pressure of pro-Israel lobbies, seeks to criminalize any BDS action.
To conclude this BDS topic, it should be noted that, according to Amnesty International, boycotting Israel is a right, and that the FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights), in March 2016, reaffirmed “the right of people to participate peacefully and to call for boycott-disinvestment-sanctions (BDS) measures to protest against the Israeli government’s occupation and discrimination policies”.