Letter to the Editor: Rep. Chris Stewart should withdraw support for Israel Anti-Boycott Act

Stock composite image, St. George News

OPINION — Last November, three of us, all Utah residents, visited Rep. Chris Stewart’s office to ask that he withdraw his co-sponsorship of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. This bill criminalizes Americans who voice support for international campaigns to boycott businesses profiting from Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestinian territories.

Boycotts have been used to promote human rights for decades, including the Montgomery Bus Boycott (which brought the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to prominence) and the boycott of businesses supporting the apartheid regime in South Africa.

In 1982, the Supreme Court upheld boycotts as constitutionally protected political speech (NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware).

Over three months after our visit and after three email reminders, Rep. Stewart has yet to respond to our concerns about his legislation’s stifling of Americans’ constitutional right to free speech.

Even if he disagrees with his constituents, Rep. Stewart has the responsibility to respond to our legitimate concerns.

All of Utah’s congressional delegates have co-sponsored the Israel Anti-Boycott Act except Sen. Lee (to his credit). What’s up with Utah politicians? Apparently their priority is supporting Israel’s military oppression of the Palestinian people over protecting our most fundamental American value and constitutional right — freedom of speech.

Submitted by BOB BRISTER, Salt Lake City | Email bbrister@q.com.

Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them; they do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News.


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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.


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  • comments March 10, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    To find out who holds the real power over you just find out who you’re not allowed to criticize

  • Real Life March 10, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    I have often wondered why liberals hate Israel so much? Israel is surrounded by the most intolerant people on the planet, people that want all Jews dead. And when Muslims take over an area, the gays and the liberals, are the first ones thrown off of roof tops.

    • comments March 10, 2018 at 4:33 pm

      RL, you’re quite naive as to what israel is all about. The amount of death and destruction that little jewish ethno-state is responsible for is hard to fathom. Not to mention the ways they’ve corrupted our own US gov’t. IMO, they make Hitler’s Germany look like boy scouts.

      • statusquo March 10, 2018 at 8:47 pm

        Bet you can’t provide details to support your anti-semetic generalizations.

        Real Life is absolutely correct. Israel is surrounded by intolerance – yours is a great example!

      • Real Life March 10, 2018 at 9:21 pm

        Actually, I am quite in tune. Believe it or not, I have been there. I am aware of what they do (not always good), and I am aware of what they are up against. Unfortunately, death and destruction are abundant in that area. I stick to my point, they are a small, but mighty country (with big help from us), that are surrounded by enemies.

      • Striker4 March 11, 2018 at 5:43 am

        LOL the Prophet Bob is at it again, I’m sure the entire political arena is concerned about what he thinks…ha ha !

    • John March 10, 2018 at 8:15 pm

      RL, comments has drunk so much of that liberal kool-aid he doesn’t know what he really thinks, just what the msm tells him he should think.. If you ever want to know what comments will say on any given issue just watch his god rachel maddow the day before..comments is just a miserable hateful loudmouth

    • bikeandfish March 10, 2018 at 9:50 pm

      I’m not a classic liberal nor do I hate Israel. That said, I am critical of some of their state actions and our willingness to allow them to proliferate nuclear weapons despite a historic anti-proliferation stance with other nations. We can can support the Jewish people while also criticizing their militarized response to civilian populations of Palestinians.

      • comments March 10, 2018 at 10:15 pm

        I find it ironic that israel’s military takes the same view of Palestinians that hitler’s SS death squads took of jews.

  • westernperson March 10, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    We love and support Israel. We love what Congressman Stewart is trying to do. Why do people
    want to hurt the little state of Israel? They live in a very dangerous part of the world. The Jewish
    people have not other country to call their own except Israel. Why do people hate Israel when
    most worship Jesus who was a Jewish Rabbi who comes from that area? Go figure. What would Jesus say
    about the negative comments on this site?

    • comments March 11, 2018 at 2:23 pm

      you’ve been fooled, as with so many others. Jesus would’ve been much closer ethnically to a modern day palestinian than to the ashkenazi jews that make up the majority of israeli jews– ashkenazi jews mostly originated from parts of russia.

  • bikeandfish March 10, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    I had never heard of this bill. Holy crap this seems inconsistent with American law and values. The law doesn’t seem to square at all with the 1st Amendment nor with the ruling of Citizens United. This isn’t an issue of Israel at all but one of whether or not the US government can limit political boycotts, which has been deemed legal free speech by the SCOTUS. I’m glad it hasn’t succeeded yet and continues to experience heavy resistance.

    • comments March 10, 2018 at 10:16 pm

      I guess we know now that Stewart is a fully bought and paid for zionist loyalist.

  • comments March 10, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    You people are naive if you think israel is any friend or ally of the US. They are the ultimate corruptions of gov’t, exploiting our military for their bloody middle east escapades. They hold no loyalty to the US or the American people.

  • jlittleaz March 10, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    First, Boycott is constitutionally protected free speech. The same constitution that allows commentators to call names, not address issues
    Second,Rep. Stewart seems to not reply to emails, or to comments on his facebook page. Liberal or conservative, this should not be tolerated.
    Third, after 70 + years, it is time Israel stands on its own.
    Fourth, they do spy on the US, in spite of 70 + years as allies.
    Fifth, Netanyahu is a belligerent, abrasive, politician who gleefully interfered in US domestic affairs, visiting congress without invitation of the President or State Department.

    • comments March 11, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      the israel lobby (the largest lobby in our political system) has a stranglehold on the R-party. R-party basically worships the whole israel agenda. figure it out. Israel is prob the largest single corrupter of the US gov’t, entangling us into mideast conflicts that benefit no one but Israel. Its like what netanyahu said after 9/11, he said this is very very good for israel. A lot of us take the view that israel had a part in making 9/11 happen.

  • Carpe Diem March 11, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    So how did the Boycott against South Africa work out? Not well! The ANC now wants to seize all WHITE owned farms AND properties. The call to kill the whites has gone out too! (just not officially YET – though it’s picking up steam and happening anyway ) There are hundreds of white farmers and families being attacked, raped, murdered. They want to steal all the white properties with NO compensation. This isnt a rumor but it’s been voted on by the new Govt of South Africa and looks to become law in August, at which time we will have seen a LOT of killings and will be known worldwide as a WHITE GENOCIDE. The farm lands which will be stolen will become fallow and unproductive causing famine, this is what happened in Zimbabwe when they did the same thing.

    Boycotts against Israel go back decades and now the UN and the ACLU are involved and joining Arabs in trying to spank them too. This legislation is a fix on earlier legislation also going back decades dealing with this nonsense.

    No one is going to throw this “Prophet Bob the Wolfman” in prison for speaking his piece about his hate for Israel. But he does come off as a rather fruitful nut.

    • bikeandfish March 11, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      The recent changes seem to address some of the concerns but any organization that joins such a boycott could experience extensive fines. Some could cripple business. Its a complicated subject but its unnerving to think the federal government can sanction citizens/organizations so aggressively for internal policy that doesn’t happen to privilege a strategic ally.

      Per South Africa…. that is definitely the spin some pundits are putting on it. The details I have read are no where that extreme, even of extremists on both sides are using inflammatory rhetoric.


    • comments March 11, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      What does S africa have to do with israel and jews? Jews don’t even identify as “white” unless it’s convenient for them…

      I’ve heard of your little “WHITE GENOCIDE” conspiracy theories. it’s ridiculous.

    • PogoStik March 11, 2018 at 7:58 pm

      Carpe Diem: Interesting. At first I thought you were speaking of Zimbabwe. I lived and worked in Phalaborwa, SA in 1986 when Aparthied was still in effect. Johannesburg was a relatively safe city then—not so now. I’d be interested in reading more about the current SA situation as you mentioned. Can you pass along some reading sources. Thanks.

  • Carpe Diem March 12, 2018 at 10:52 am

    My posts wont take links.

    Simply google KILL THE BOER (White farmers) on youtube. They have been singing the song to kill them for many years.


    That the author, Bob Brister used “boycotts against Apartheid” as a success story in the article is laughable. Like so many other African Countries, the trigger is about to go off and total chaos will soon reign in that once productive Nation.

    SA Parliament voted to CONFISCATE WHITE PROPERTY WITHOUT COMPENSATION on Feb 28. And they lie to themselves and the World that this wont be a disaster! They need to amend their constitution to complete this greedy theft, so that is why the delay until August. It may possibly be stopped by the UN (not holding my breath) or other worldwide sanction threats. It needs to be stopped.

    Anyway, there is a lot of crazy stuff happening in the world and I don’t come to St. George News for world updates, but lo and behold occasionally a SJW activist gets their letter printed.

    No one however is saying “Isn’t it awesome how Obama and Clinton killed Ghadaffi, and allowed liberated Libya to be opened up as the gateway to Europe for untold masses of thug immigrants” though they are giddy when conservative speakers are arrested, jailed and deported from the UK.

    {Austrian Martin Sellner of the Generation Identity group, American commentator Brittany Pettibone tweeted Monday that they were detained, and jailed pending deportation, and Canadian activist and YouTube personality Lauren Southern was prevented from entering the UK.}

    Getting back to Israel, anyone in their right mind is aware that Muslims in general are out to take down Israel in any way possible such as the africans singing to kill their farmers. Different song, same sentiment. Iran, a Shiite nation, gives funding and weapons to Hamas, a Sunni group. This is unusual, as those sects both have pretty much been at war for about 1,400 years, and still are as seen in the Syrian war.

    Israel needs protection from Islamic thugs… laws that prevent companies from boycotting them (or being forced to boycott against their will) would be a good thing. Bob can still spew nonsense, no one is going to arrest him.

    • comments March 12, 2018 at 1:56 pm

      I’m with you on everything but Israel. My understanding is that the jewish ethno-state has been pushing for the massive african and moslem “refugee” invasion of europe. Israel doesn’t care if europe is invaded, they only care that only jews are allowed to migrate into israel. The bloodshed created by israel’s war policies has destabilized the region to the point of driving vast amounts of actual refugees into europe. Israel is the enemy as far as i’m concerned. I’m not going to delve into it but i’m sure they were in support of Hillary’s personal war to destabilize Libya and open up that passage to massive african migration.

      As far as SA, it’s an interesting dynamic because the ethnic english hate the ethnic boers. We may see a genocide of some sort. Maybe SA will tip into chaos. I believe the country was run better under apartheid, and better for everyone, including black africans.

      • comments March 12, 2018 at 2:00 pm

        And Israel has had a huge part in destabilizing Syria, and the ongoing syrian “civil war”. Notice how not once did ISIS ever threaten Israel. Isis may be the personal little creation of israel. I don’t know how you got to be so naive of the agendas of the jewish ethno-state.

        • Carpe Diem March 12, 2018 at 5:22 pm

          The situation Syria is horrible, (Though Assad is winning finally) and your were right in noting Clinton (and Obama of course) had their heads eyeball deep in Libya but also Syria, Egypt and Yemen. I find it odd that Obama didn’t run on the Man of War ticket, he really started a lot of it. That said, while they were killing Ghaddafi, and transporting his weapons to al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria (yes, really, Obama and Clinton did that), while at the same time he wasn’t getting along with Israel so well. Sen John McCain helped. Photographed with al-Baghdadi and other terrorists.

          Now, every faction in Syria is either simultaneously at war or in alliance with each other depending on the bad person of the day but Israel famously stayed out of it.

          No one has much concrete proof of Israeli interference or finance in Syria, but the fact that they might be rooting for one side or another depending on the day, or rooting for vile immigrants to pollute Europe so they can see what it’s like, I would gather that is a reasonable assumption.

          Certainly the US and Gulf States have poured billions upon billions to the burning Syrian fire that’s killed over 700,000 people.

          Iran has Hamas raining bombs on Israel time to time, and also have their own political and military force in LEBANON “Hezbollah” doing the same, and now they are heavily invested in Syria. Israel basically has the Muslims pointing multiple guns to their head. And this too goes back decades – but thanks to Obama/Clinton they are now completely surrounded by total chaos, murder and war.

      • bikeandfish March 13, 2018 at 12:03 am

        Just to clarify, you think black africans were better under apartheid? Really? If that’s the case, why did they seek to end it and seek roles in government? Its not like their leaders didn’t know it would be a long journey well beyond officially ending the laws: “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

        • Carpe Diem March 13, 2018 at 8:20 am

          I’m not here selling Apartheid, but rather against Countries using boycotts and sanctions to bully other countries into behaving the way someone else wants.

          The Rhodesia/ Zimbabwe situation just to the north, left many blacks dead and starving after the whites were chased off. I guess they would be better off being second class citizens in a successful nation rather than supposed rulers of a destroyed nation. You don’t think they will destroy it? They are going down the path of Zimbabwe.

          “How To Kill A Country
          Turning a breadbasket into a basket case in ten easy steps—the Robert Mugabe way”

          “How could the breadbasket of Africa have deteriorated so quickly into the continent’s basket case? The answer is Robert Mugabe, now seventy-nine, who by his actions has compiled something of a “how-to” manual for national destruction. ”

          theatlantic dot com

          “Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has said that people who murdered white farmers during a government-sanctioned purge in the 2000s will never be prosecuted.

          Zimbabwe implemented a controversial land reform program in 2000 that saw squatters invade and seize hundreds of white-owned farms around the country. The violent seizures resulted in the murder of many white farmers, with many more displaced, and close associates of Mugabe given large chunks of land.”

          Newsweek dot com Aug 2017

    • bikeandfish March 12, 2018 at 1:56 pm

      Its sloppy, prejudiced logic to use the activities of extremists to justify such generic claims, ie “anyone in their right mind is aware that Muslims in general are out to take down Israel in any way possible”. The “anyone in their right mind” fails every sniff test but is a worthy rhetorical trick that plays to folk’s biases.

      You oversimplify the SA issue and vote to benefit your narrative. There are definitely some extremists that should rightfully concern anyone with even basic humanist ideals.

      You have yet to account for the infringement on the protected speech of boycotting other than waving it away with generic concerns for Israel.

      • Carpe Diem March 12, 2018 at 4:54 pm

        Those out for Israel blood aren’t just extremists, but include nuclear powers. You didn’t know this? Crack open some google and be enlightened.

        And talk about rhetoric… you’re full of it.

        The SA situation is a bit larger than can be explained here, but I invite people to study up on that as well because it’s soon going to blow up. To deny that the mobs want to kill the whites and steal their farms, however, is a sad mistake seeing they already sing the songs of murder and have passed legislation to start doing it. SA disbanded the Boer’s private security forces and now the cops do nothing but take a report on the rapes and killings – but good luck getting data from them.

        And in SA “There are definitely some extremists” you are kidding, right? The LAND CONFISCATION WITHOUT COMPENSATION was voted and passed on Feb 28 in the SA Parliament! The bill was floated by Julius Malema of the EFF Party, he is the main one in power goading, singing, wanting to kill whites.

        Google: Julius Malema “Shoot the Boer”

        IRT the Israel anti-boycott measure, you’ve got nothing there. It’s been decided, and this is just a tune up of existing law. Stay away from ACLU and Sovereign Citizen websites though, they will steer you down the wrong ditch!

        Instead, read this:

        “That is why the law has been upheld against First Amendment challenges in the years after its passage and has not raised any constitutional concerns in nearly four decades since. Refusing to do business is not an inherently expressive activity, as the Supreme Court held in Rumsfeld v. FAIR. “

        • bikeandfish March 12, 2018 at 8:20 pm

          I’ll stick to the analysis of an organization dedicated to legal issues over someone screaming “white genocide”. And hardly settled as the existing law is not the same as the new one. The old one protected American business from foreign coercion, this one penalizes American businesses. And the ACLU just succeeded in blocking a similar law in Kansas and the judges explicitly cited the NAACP case that protects boycotts. I read the piece in which you gathered the quote and there are interesting points there but the case he cites isn’t the same in legal context. It sounds to me like this is an unsettled matter that may require court interpretation. Simply, neither of us know what will happen which means raising the spectre of free speech infringement is a fair concern.

          You don’t deal in nuance or details, do you? You have yet to show how “Muslims in general are out to take down Israel in any way possible”. I’m fully aware there are nuclear powers at play in the middle east, but that includes Israel despite international nuclear proliferation agreements. We only seem concerned about Muslim countries having nuclear power not Israel, whose had them for 50 years. You clearly ascribe to an extremist view of “Muslims in general” despite the vast majority actually being peaceful citizens. And that takes into account the terrorist groups and regimes Israel is rightfully concerned with.

          I love that you want me to watch YouTube videos and “Google” as your evidence, ie not evidence for your extreme claims. I read multiple sources about the SA law and for the most part the take is the situation is uncertain regarding how the vote will actually be implemented. But “white genocide” definitely seems to be selling papers in the UK.

          • Carpe Diem March 12, 2018 at 10:02 pm

            Sure, I’ll wait and let the courts decide on this. Fair enough. But crying wolf and Bob claiming his rights are being stripped because a new law is coming up and a “lawmaker wont take his calls even though I’m a Utah resident” in disingenuous and weak. Bob ran for Utah’s 2nd Congressional seat in 2006 and lost badly, I presume he still wants to be seen as relevant but it’s a lost cause. Write a book, “What the Hay Happened”.

            Muslims – at least those in the ME – have been at war on and off with each other, Sunni vs Shiite, for 1400 years. This is not in dispute. The early Caliphs held short term jobs – meeting early untimely murdered ends. Turns out Caliph al-Baghdadi will end his the same way… but not sure who will do, or has done, the deed.

            Mohammed referenced his jealousy of Judaism and Christianity when he created Islam for Arabs. A poor knockoff. I bet you do not know why they worship the Kabaa, and hint, it’s not the “official” answer.

            Muslims in the ME hang, throw off roofs, and / or decapitate gays. This fact must really bugger the heck out of liberals, who always seem to rush to defend them. Live with it, or not, as they say. The Koran as written doesn’t lay a peaceful foundation for people either.

            Getting back to the wonders of SA, the Parliament has already voted to strip whites of their property, this is not “uncertain”. They will complete their land grab and white displacement after the planned Constitutional amendment.

            My claims are not “extreme” but rather observations of facts. Facts don’t care about your feelings.

            If world bodies do not intervene against the SA madness, it isn’t rocket science to predict disasters of the highest magnitude. It is a FACT murders against SA farmers is and has been a serious problem, and the outlook is bleak.

            Oh, I realize President Ramaphosa has promised that once the land is stolen and the whites chased off, the land will magically be put to productive use.

            And if you believe that, I’ve got some swamp land in Louisiana that is ripe for development I can get you for a great price… Probably the last thing you want to do though, at this time is visit SA… I reckon the State Dept. has a warning coming soon!

          • bikeandfish March 13, 2018 at 12:29 am

            You present very few facts and alot of hyperbolic opinion. They aren’t the same. No one mentioned feelings but you. Inserting that is nothing more than a tired right wing talking point. And yes screaming “white genocide” in all caps is an example of an extreme opinion. Its a textbook example of extreme political rhetoric.

            At this point the country is waiting to hear back from the ad hoc committee on what is needed to amend S25. I’m guessing they are going to run into the difficult financial realties of taking “land” without restitution especially given 90% of the farming assets aren’t land. Given their explicit statements about not disrupting commercial agriculture it seems like they know there are complications ahead, including the billions of dollars in bank debt from the farms.

            But you know, keep screaming “white genocide” and “Muslims” as they clearly are tricks to hide the real nuance, ie facts without care for feelings.

  • Carpe Diem March 13, 2018 at 7:58 am

    So this is where we are in South Africa after Bob Brister’s touted and wonderful boycott against Aparthied. Next victim? Israel!

    “White South African farmers will be removed from their land after a landslide vote in (South African) parliament.

    The country’s constitution is now likely to be amended to allow for the confiscation of white-owned land without compensation, following a motion brought by radical Marxist opposition leader Julius Malema.

    It passed by 241 votes for to 83 against after a vote on Tuesday, and the policy was a key factor in new president Cyril Ramaphosa’s platform after he took over from Jacob Zuma in February.

    Mr Malema said the time for ‘reconciliation is over’. ‘Now is the time for justice,’ News24 reported.

    ‘We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land.'”

    dailymail dot com

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