Gov. Cuomo issued an executive order on Sunday that blacklists and sanctions people, companies, and other organizations that support boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights.
Cuomo’s order is an unconstitutional infringement on 1st Amendment free speech rights, initiates a McCarthyite witch hunt against BDS supporters, unethically defends racial discrimination and human rights abuses by the state of Israel, and makes the possibilities for a just peace in Israel/Palestine all the more difficult. I support BDS against apartheid Israel for the same reasons I supported BDS against apartheid South Africa: racist pass laws, denial of civil and political rights, ethnic cleansing, and theft of land and property by an apartheid state against a targeted ethnic group.
So Cuomo just blacklisted me. But I won’t be silenced in my advocacy of nonviolent economic resistance to Israeli apartheid.
If the U.S. is to play a constructive role in promoting a just peace among Israelis and Palestinians, it must be be a neutral broker in negotiations while supporting the human rights of Israelis and Palestinians alike.
It is for the Israelis and Palestinians to decide in negotiations whether a just peace will be a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders with mutually agreed adjustments, which is the long-held position supported by the international community, or a one-state solution based on equal rights for all in a secular democratic state, which the massive expansion of Israeli settlements into the West Bank may have now made more realistic than a two-state solution.
What is not helpful is the for the U.S. to blindly support Israel no matter what it does to Palestinians, which is what Cuomo’s executive order does. It is not only an attack on political freedom at home; it is an attack on the prospects for peace in the Middle East.