Monday, June 06, 2016

NY Governor Cuomo Declares War on BDS

NY Governor Cuomo Declares War on BDS

by Stephen Lendman

BDS is the most effective way to challenge Israel’s vicious persecution of Palestinians and its own Arab citizens - deserving universal support and encouragement.

First Amendment rights matter most. Without them all others are at risk. Targeting BDS is part of a slippery slope campaign toward full-blown tyranny.

The right to dissent is fundamental, constitutionally guaranteed, fast eroding in America, a police state masquerading as democratic. 

On June 5, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order No. 157, “directing state entities to divest all public funds supporting the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel.”

“We are against the BDS movement, and it’s very simple,” he said. “New York stands in solidarity with Israel today and always.” 

Cuomo expressed “unwavering support for” its nonexistent democracy, ruthless oppression of fundamental Palestinian rights, wars at its discretion, and longstanding barbarity exceeded only by America’s permanent war on humanity.

Resisting tyranny is fundamental, a universal right, BDS a responsible, courageous, vital campaign for justice. Cuomo turned truth on its head, calling it “hateful (and) intolerant,” ignoring Israeli high crimes of war and against humanity, its regime a nuclear-armed regional scourge.

Separately he twittered “I am signing an Executive Order that says very clearly we are against the BDS movement. If you boycott Israel, New York will boycott you” - a flagrant constitutional breach, standard practice in America.

In 2005, George W. Bush infamously said: “Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It’s just a goddamned piece of paper.” The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia claimed it “means whatever we want it to mean.”

NY state is home to over 1.7 million Jews, (about 1.1 million in NYC), the largest Jewish community outside Israel, most of its members indifferent to or mindless of rogue state policies they support.

At the same time, growing numbers of US Jews nationwide oppose occupation harshness and institutionalized apartheid worse than South Africa’s. Media scoundrels suppress what’s vital to explain, expressing one-sided support for what demands condemnation.

Cuomo’s counsel Alphonso David said his executive order applies to any boycott targeting Israel. Various states are taking similar action. A Republican-sponsored bill passed the NY State Senate.

Cuomo called legislation “tedious” so he acted unilaterally on his own, urging other governors to follow suit.

BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti said efforts targeting the campaign aim to “shield Israel from accountability.” Boycott is “a time-honored tactic of resisting injustice…a form of protected speech.”

Calling BDS anti-Semitic is a gross perversion of truth, a thinly veiled scheme to smear a vital initiative.

NY Civil Liberties Union executive director Donna Lieberman said Cuomo’s executive order will be closely examined.

“Whenever the government creates a blacklist based on political views, it raises serious First Amendment concerns and this is no exception,” she stressed.

Is federal anti-BDS legislation just a matter of time, driving another nail in the heart of fundamental freedoms fast disappearing!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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