...Indeed, it’s hard to overstate how pervasive and mainstream these attempts to legally suppress criticisms of Israel have become, including in the U.S. As the legal advocacy organization Palestine Legal told The Intercept yesterday, “Since 2014, over 100 anti-boycott measures (similar to the one blocked in Kansas) have been introduced in the U.S., at least 24 of them enacted. Palestine Legal responded to 308 suppression incidents in 2017 and nearly 1,000 in the last four years.” The report issued by the group this week details just some of those efforts:
- Hurricane Harvey victims were required to pledge not to boycott Israel to receive relief aid;
- An NYC bookstore hid a children’s book about Palestine after calls for censorship;
- A Palestinian American professor at San Francisco State was sued for researching and teaching about Palestine;
- A Black student leader at the University of Wisconsin was condemned for speaking out against the connections between white supremacy and Zionism by Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
So widespread are attempts to punish and repress speech and activism aimed at ending the Israeli occupation that the Center for Constitutional Rights has dubbed this movement “the Palestine Exception” to free speech rights in the U.S. ...