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AHRC Calls upon the US Senate to respect the First Amendment Right of BDS Supporters by voting no on Senate bill 1:

By American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA)

The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA), joins the nation's peace movement and defenders of the US Constitution I calling on the US Senate to fully respect people's First Amendment rights.

The First Amendment allows for critical speech and calls to boycott any person, group or country in the world. No country should get special treatment as to the Constitution. We urge the Senate to reject pandering to the Israel lobby and vote no on Senate bill S.1. No one should be punished for advocating for the human rights of the Palestinians using peaceful means. The BDS Movement stands for Boycott, Divest and Sanction. It is intended to pressure the Israeli government to respect the human rights of the Palestinians and to respect international law. It is a peaceful nonviolent movement. Those who support it include people of all backgrounds.

Senate bill 1 not only violates the letter and spirit of the US Constitutions, it also violates the country's democratic traditions. The bill was introduced by Republican US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Anti- BDS legislation was defeated in the previous two Congressional sessions. Federal judges in Kansas and Arizona have ruled anti-BDS laws violate the First Amendment.

"It is truly astounding that, given the challenges and priorities this country has, such as ending the government shutdown; some politicians shamelessly pander to special interests by going after peaceful activists," said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director. "It will be truly bizarre if in the US burning the American flag is protected speech but peacefully calling for the boycott of a foreign government in order to pressure it to respect human rights and international law is punishable by law," added Hamad.