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Are Israeli Partisan Lobbyists Going on the Defensive?

While it may still seem that the Israeli partisan lobby is unstoppable, resistance to it is growing. In Arizona, a group of Palestinian activists went down to the state capitol to challenge a well oiled effort by Israeli partisans to introduce a new and “improved” version of a previous anti-BDS (Boycotts, Divestment & Sanctions) law that was enacted in 2016, and has, subsequently, been struck down by a federal judge in AZ for violating freedom of speech (for details see: “Bill seeks to replace pro-Israel law found unconstitutional”). Our podcast,  “Israeli Partisans on Warpath in Arizona to Stomp Out Free Speech,” gives  an in depth look at how the challenge to the Israeli partisan lobby was made.


At a Arizona House of Representatives hearing on an anti-BDS piece of legislation, most of the Israelis partisans were sporting tee shirts with an outline of Arizona emblazoned with the slogan “Arizonans Against: Boycotts, Divestment & Sanctions.”

A  hearing was held by the Arizona House Committee on  International & State Affairs on Senate bill S.1167, the anti-BDS legislation. Present at the hearing was an Israeli partisan lawyer from Washington, DC  arguing for the anti-BDS legislation. He stated that he had written the anti-BDS legislation for a number of the 27 states that have enacted such laws. He argued the case based, mostly, on economic benefit rhetoric.

Arizona Representative Athena Salman, is the first Palestinian American to be elected to office in Arizona and is standing in the middle of the back row of part of the group present to challenge the anti-BDS legislation.

The bill was voted on and passed by the 9 member committee (6 to 3). Then, the bill passed the House of Representatives by a margin of 37 to 21, with 2 abstentions. It passed both houses and was signed into law by the governor. It is interesting to note that the 2016 legislation passed by a larger margin of 46-14 in the House. Opposition is growing! ACLU lawyer,, Brian Hauss sums it up in his article “Arizona Lawmakers Running Scared After Anti-Boycott Law Ruled Unconstitutional.”