Democrats in Congress rethink anti-boycott bill in wake of ACLU warning

Democrats on Capitol Hill are reexamining their support for a bipartisan bill intended to fight boycotts against Israel and the settlements after the American Civil Liberties Union warned U.S. senators last week that it endangers free speech in the United States and could lead to citizens’ going to prison simply for expressing a political opinion.

Two Democratic staffers who are involved in discussions over the legislation told Haaretz that over a dozen Democrats in both houses of Congress have already began to reconsider their positions in light of the letter the ACLU sent to U.S. senators. One of the first members of the House of Representatives to publicly announce such a review is Rep. Joe Kennedy III, a Democrat representing Massachusetts. Kennedy, a grandson of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, is considered a rising political star in the Democratic Party and is one of 240 co-sponsors of the bill in the House.