Today, in response to a bill proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives that imposes penalties on those who call for boycott of Israel or Israeli settlements, Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund, released the following statement:
“A healthy democracy protects freedom of expression; it does not silence citizens. This legislation is an effort to gag Americans who oppose settlements.
“The sponsors of this bill want you to believe that this law is about defending Israel. It is not. This legislation hurts Israel and harms fundamental freedoms for Americans. It is an extension of Israeli settler policy designed to erase the Green Line and ensure that we never see a two-state solution.
“No friend of democracy, nor any friend of Israel should, in good conscience, support this or the 28 state laws and executive orders that silence dissent.
“Our position is principled: We do not support the BDS movement. We oppose legislation that would gag free speech and stifle political dissent.”