Both of New York's Senators have signed on to a bill that would criminalize any attempt by Americans to boycott Israel, according to a new report.
According to The Intercept, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are among 43 U.S. Senators who have co-sponsored the Anti-Israel Boycott Act, a bill that the ACLU wote is "antithetical to free speech protections enshrined in the First Amendment" in a letter to lawmakers urging them to oppose the bill.
The Senate bill appears to target the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement that seeks to pressure Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip through economic isolation. Under the terms of the bill, a pair of U.S. laws that prohibit U.S. citizens from supporting a boycott request from a foreign government against an ally of the United States would be updated to specifically prohibit Americans from supporting international boycott efforts against Israel.
Violators of the law "would be subject to a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison" according to the ACLU's letter.
Schumer and Gillibrand aren't New York's first Democratic politicians who've embraced #TheResistance while simultaneously attacking BDS activists. As part of Andrew Cuomo's Definitely Not Running For President efforts, the governor issued an executive order earlier this year instructing the state of New York to boycott any business that supports the BDS movement.
"If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you. If you divert revenues from Israel, New York will divert revenues from you. If you sanction Israel, New York will sanction you, period," Cuomo said when he signed the order.
Speaking in the Senate on French President Emmanuel Macron's support of Israel earlier this week, Senator Schumer criticized the BDS movement as anti-Semitic.
"Anti-Zionism, unfortunately, continues to bubble up in many different forms. There is perhaps no greater example than the pernicious effort to delegitimize Israel through boycotts, divestment, and sanctions. The BDS movement is a deeply biased campaign that I would say, in similar words to Mr. Macron, is a 'reinvented form of anti-Semitism' because it seeks to impose boycotts on Israel and not on any other nation.
Senator Gillibrand did not respond to requests for comment about their support of the bill.