This evening US House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer visited the Diyanet Center of America in Lanham, MD for a town hall meeting.
I attended this meeting to ask Leader Hoyer about his opinion of Israel arresting Palestinian children. Watch my question below and his remarkable answer:
(Video credit: Saqib Ali)
Written transcript below:Read more
Today was a momentous day for our right to free speech. Our junior US Senator, Chris Van Hollen went to the floor of the Senate today and gave a 28-minute speech strongly defending the right to boycott Israel based on the First Amendment and condemning anti-BDS laws as "blatantly unconstitutional". He used many of our talking points and even mentioned my lawsuit against Maryland's Governor Larry Hogan.
This speech was particularly consequential for a number of reasons:
- Senator Van Hollen is a highly respected foreign policy voice within the Democratic party establishment.
- Senator Van Hollen is a Democrat representing Maryland. Maryland is also represented by Democratic Senator Ben Cardin who has taken a lead role in anti-BDS legislation. Such strong dissent coming from Cardin's colleague of the same state and same party is highly unusual.
- The speech was given from the floor of the US Senate giving it added heft and gravitas.
- In the speech Senator Van Hollen, an avowed opponent of BDS, predicted the continued growth of the BDS movement.
See the full transcript of Senator Van Hollen's speech below and watch it by clicking on the image above.Read more
Please click here to tell these elected leaders that we don't need a "Champion for Israel in Congress".
From left to right: Montgomery County Councilman-Elect Andrew Friedson, Maryland State Senator Cheryl Kagan, Gaithersburg City Councilman Ryan Spiegel
Last week, leading up to election day, now-Congressman-Elect David Trone's campaign publicized the statement below attributed to his "Jewish Community Advisory Board".
As you can see dozens of people supported Mr Trone's candidacy because would "be a Champion for Israel in Congress". Out of the dozens of people on this advisory board, three are Montgomery County elected officials: Montgomery County Councilman-Elect Andrew Friedson, Maryland State Senator Cheryl Kagan and Gaithersburg City Councilman Ryan Spiegel.
Activists with Freedom2Boycott have been tracking all gubernatorial candidates' statements on Governor Larry Hogan's unconstitutional, anti-Palestinian Executive order which bans companies who boycott Israel (or the illegal settlements) from getting contracts with the state of Maryland. Democratic candidate Ben Jealous has clarified his position to Washington Jewish Week stating that "he vows to defend" Governor Hogan's order.This order is very similar to the one that the ACLU got suspended in Arizona as unconstitutional.
But Mr. Jealous has a plan if the ACLU has a similar success in getting courts to determine that the Maryland version is found unconstitutional. Mr. Jealous is going to "bring leaders in the Jewish community and the Maryland-Israel Development Center together ...to figure out if there's a constitutional way to discourage the BDS movement in Maryland."
Nancy Floreen Declares Israel "A Leader in the Treatment of Others", Pledges to Visit as First Overseas Trip
Please click here to send Nancy Floreen an email letting them know that Palestinian rights count.
As part of her campaign for Montgomery County Executive, Nancy Floreen has been talking a lot about Israel lately.
Yes, read that sentence again. It doesn't make much sense why someone running to lead a large county in Maryland would be talking about Israel, but it's one of the absurdities of American politics that when a politician does this it doesn't raise any eyebrows.
Last Monday October 8th, Nancy Floreen attended a candidate forum at a B'nai Tzadek temple in Potomac, MD. She was asked what relationship she wants Montgomery County to have with Israel. In response she said that "Israel stands as sort of a Middle Eastern leader when we are talking about the rights of others". Watch the video above to see this stunningly tone-deaf statement. Here's the transcript:Read more