United States senators from both the Republican and Democratic parties are pushing to implement a bill that would make it a felony to support boycotting Israel, punishable by up to twenty years in prison. On Monday, the ACLU issued a letter to the Senate opposing the proposed legislation, which was introduced in March by Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). It was “drafted with the assistance of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC],” according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S.720), which has a total of 43 sponsors in the Senate (14 Democrats and 29 Republicans), seeks to broaden the the Export Administration Act of 1979 “to include in the prohibitions on boycotts against allies of the United States boycotts fostered by international governmental organizations against Israel and to direct the Export-Import Bank of the United States to oppose boycotts against Israel, and for other purposes.”