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Mia Brett 👸🏻 @QueenMab87
, 17 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Ok I want to actually have a nuanced discussion about both BDS and anti-BDS laws. Please try to read until the end of the thread before yelling at me /1
26 states have anti-BDS laws that force people to sign oaths that they wont boycott Israel if they work for the government. These laws can affect teachers, lawyers, repair men, & more. They have very real financial consequences for people and similar federal law has been proposed
Whatever you feel about BDS a law requiring someone to promise not to boycott a foreign country to work for the government is a blatant violation of free speech and arguably fuels antisemitic conspiracy theories that Jews control the US and the world /3
@bungarsargon explains the problems with these laws both for the Jewish community and a free speech perspective /4 forward.com/opinion/416216…
While I think these laws are wholly inappropriate I'm going to take this opportunity to also talk about why BDS is really problematic (yes even for Palestinians) /5
BDS in theory is reasonable as it calls for boycotting Israeli businesses which makes sense if you want to put financial pressure on Israel to change its policies. The problem is BDS also calls for academic boycotts & indiscriminate economic boycotts that can impact Palestinians
@eid_bassem (a Palestinian activist) wrote that BDS is counterproductive to the Palestinian cause by assuming Palestinians want to suffer economically for the cause when many BDS spokespeople live comfortably in other countries /7 washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysi…
Bassem Eid asserts that there is no connection between BDS activists worldwide and Palestinians on the ground in Gaza and the West Bank. He also points out that it is often in Hamas' interest to stir up this conflict. Eid was even interrupted by a BDS academic boycott /8
@temasmith informed me of the harm done when SodaStream was forced to close its West Bank plant because it was the largest employer of Palestinians in the West Bank. They provided jobs for 500 people /9 haaretz.com/opinion/.premi…
Academic boycotts have harmed individual Israeli citizens often fighting against the Israeli government. Students in the US and around the world interrupt talks and refuse to allow the important exchange of ideas that can lead towards humanitarian progress /10
Two professors at UMich refused to provide recommendations to students simply because they planned to study abroad in Israel. /11 washingtonpost.com/news/morning-m…
The Jewish Center at NYU was temporarily closed after a BDS supporter made death threats expressing a desire for "Zionists to die" /12 haaretz.com/us-news/.premi…
All these things can be true. Anti-BDS laws can be heinous violations of free speech, the Israeli occupation in the West Bank can be oppressive and a human rights crisis, AND BDS can be counterproductive and harmful. /13
Like any other issue if we want to resolve the problems in Israel and Palestine we must have a nuanced approach that actually listens to people on the ground. Indiscriminately demanding people boycott all Israeli businesses and academics will only hurt Palestinians and Israelis
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