Sanders, Feinstein Oppose Inclusion of Israel Anti-Boycott Act in Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 – As Congress considers a year-end appropriations bill, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) called on Senate leadership not to include S. 720, the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act.”

“We believe including this bill would violate the spirit of cooperation and commitment that Senate appropriators have made to oppose controversial riders on appropriations bills,” the senators wrote in a letter to Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). 

“While we do not support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, we remain resolved to our constitutional oath to defend the right of every American to express their views peacefully without fear of or actual punishment by the government,” the senators continued.

“As the ACLU has repeatedly stated in its opposition to S. 720, this bill would violate Americans’ First Amendment rights. Federal district courts in Kansas and Arizona have similarly considered state laws that target political boycotts of Israel and found them to violate the First Amendment… At a time when the Netanyahu government is pursuing policies clearly aimed at foreclosing the two-state solution, it is deeply disappointing that Congress would consider choosing to penalize criticism of those policies.”

To read the letter, click here.