#BDSfail: Dozens of disruptive pro-Palestinian activists were ejected by NYPD officers from a hearing supporting a resolution that condemns the BDS movement, which targets “academic, cultural, and civil society institutions, as well as individual Israeli citizens.”
Police ejected dozens of people on Thursday from a New York City Council hearing on a resolution condemning the movement to boycott Israel, local media reported.
Demonstrators repeatedly interrupted the meeting on the nonbinding resolution that censures “all efforts to delegitimize the state of Israel and the global movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the people of Israel.”
Protesters chanted “Zionism is racism” while being escorted about by security, the New York Post reported.
Opponents of the resolution said it encroaches on the right to free speech. They also argued that it paints the boycott movement as supporting a total rejection of Israel, whereas they said the movement only targets certain companies, according to the New York Post. Several lawmakers argued strongly against this claim.
The resolution describes the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement as targeting “academic, cultural, and civil society institutions, as well as individual Israeli citizens.”
Supporters of the resolution said the movement made accusations of restrictions on free speech, but was itself silencing those in favor of the resolution.
“Today’s hearing vividly exposed the hypocrisy of the BDS movement, which wraps itself in the flag of free speech while doing everything it can to silence those with opposing views, often in the most vitriolic way,” said Democratic Councilman Mark Levine, chair of the Jewish Caucus.
Others insisted that it the resolution interfered with the right to protest. Linda Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, was quoted by the New York Daily News as asking: “Whatever happened to, ‘I don’t agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend your right to say it?’”
The resolution is set to go before a committee vote this month before heading to the full council, the Post said.
Thirty-three of 51 Council members co-sponsored the bill that was spearheaded by Councilman Andrew Cohen, the Jewish Journal reported.
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