During House and Senate hearings on Ohio’s anti-boycott, divestment and sanctions law, House Bill 476, First Amendment advocates and Jews of conscience said boycotts are constitutionally protected speech and attempts to criminalize it are unconstitutional. 

Boycotts of those who violate human rights is also – apparently, unless the human rights violator is Israel – a Jewish moral imperative. 

To sweeten the vote, Ohio House members were feted with trips to Israel, courtesy of the Negev Foundation, and Senate member trips were sponsored by Jewish Federations of North America. 

Proponents insisted that anti-BDS laws were constitutional, and said those of us, many who are Jews, are anti-Semitic and trying to “delegitimize” Israel by fighting their bill’s passage. This newspaper lauded the bill’s passage. 

Now, we’re three-for-three, federal courts in Kansas, Arizona and Texas, have ruled unequivocally that boycotting is constitutionally protected even when the target is Israel. 

What do Zionists and the Israel lobby, falsely claiming to represent all Jews, fear? Is Israel’s behavior so indefensible? 

You deplore BDS and the non-violent protests taking place on behalf of Palestinian rights. But your outrage, I am sorry to say, fails to express concern for the conditions that brought about the protests. 

Nothing delegitimizes Israel more than Israel’s own behavior, and nothing delegitimizes Judaism more than its deliberate supplantation by Zionism. 

As we saw again last week, bona fide anti-Semitism is real and prevalent enough that no one needs to pretend that conscientious objections to Israeli crimes against humanity are its equivalent.

Eric Resnick


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