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Proposed Arizona amendment could target critics of Israel

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Foundation for Middle East Peace President Lara Friedman points out that a proposed Arizona amendment could potentially trample on free speech and target critics of Israel.

“Folks, they are going to make it a hate crime to meaningfully criticize/protest Israel,” tweeted Friedman.

As Friedman notes, the legislation would revise statutes relating to crime reporting, but the amendment has ramifications that go far beyond data collection. Arizona doesn’t have a specific hate crime law, but the sentencing of individuals can potentially be increased if there is “evidence that the defendant committed the crime out of malice toward a victim because of the victim’s identity.” If passed, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism could be cited as an “aggravating factor” in such sentencing decisions. That definition infamously includes some criticisms of Israel.

“The problem is that the IHRA definition deals obsessively — more than with any other topic — with the degree of antisemitism in criticism of Israel, making it far more difficult to identify real instances of antisemitism, while casting a cloud of suspicion over nearly all criticism of Israel,” wrote Professors Amos Goldberg and Raz Segal in +972 Magazine last year. “Meanwhile, the burden of proof lies with critics of Israel, who are constantly asked to prove that they are not anti-Semites.”

Earlier this month, The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a ban on Arizona’s anti-BDS law, as an amendment to the legislation had invalidated a legal challenge on free-speech grounds by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). However, the court did not rule that the law was constitutional and it remains to be seen whether a new lawsuit will emerge.

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Ironically, but not surprisingly, in the long run, the attempt by Zionists and their bought and paid for political lackeys to bury the First Amendment of the Constitution and ‘…make it a hate crime to meaningfully criticize/protest Israel,’ will inevitably lead to accelerating criticism and alienation of “Israel” within the… Read more »

@Misterioso Again not surprisingly here in the UK having slaughtered Jeremy Corbyn UK Zionists no doubt at the direct request of Zio Central back in only democracy blah blah blah who have been feasting over the kill and have been busy rounding up the rest of the Labour flock signalling… Read more »

Ossinev, Emily Thornberry Shadow Foreign Secretary and one of the leadership candidates is carrying on where the Corbyn team left off unfortunately [No backbone to refute all the false allegations of Antisemitism] “If I was leader, I would simply not have that. Instead, driving Antisemitism out of Labour would be… Read more »

@Ossinev, thanks for the link to Deborah Maccoby’s piece on Dr. Finkelstein’s blog, which had passed me by. I agree with you about the unfortunate, long-term, popular reaction to the domestic intercessions of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and other establishment UK Jewish organisations on behalf of the… Read more »

It’s stupid and scary, but a person would have to commit a real crime in order for this to kick in. Although it is possible that someone could be charged and convicted in a protest and then this would add to the charges.