Formerly Neutral Americans Now Oppose Curbing Israel Boycotts
Washington, DC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/04/2017 --Results from a comprehensive public opinion poll of 2,500 American adults fielded through Google Surveys reveal widespread opposition to the top lobbying initiative of Israel's US lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
"These results are particularly alarming since Congress, flush with millions in pro-Israel PAC and individual contributions, still seems determined to ignore major, irreparable free speech violations inherent in the legislation," said Grant F. Smith, Director of Research at IRmep which chartered the poll.
Nearly seven in ten Americans oppose the "Israel Anti-Boycott Act" (H.R.1697 in the House and S.720 in the Senate) while 25.6% support the Act, and 5.3% submitted other responses. The survey had an RMSE score of 5.9% and was fielded July 24-August 1.
This is a major change from March of 2017 when 62.1% of Americans neither supported nor opposed such laws.
According to IRmep analysis published on July 28, the US will be required for the very first time to promote exports from territories occupied by Israel since 1967 by sanctioning the UN and EU. Most countries consider Israel's occupation illegal. If made into law, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act would also make Israel as the only foreign country listed in key statutes designed to advance US national security. Those subjected to the Israel Anti-Boycott Act could incur penalties of up to $1 million in fines and 20 years in prison.
Most troubling, the proposed legislation requires the US to treat growing global boycotts of Israel over its endemic human rights violations as a US "national emergency" under the "International Emergency Economic Powers Act."
However, as Congress reviews enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, questions are being raised about the bill's chief advocate. On November 21, 1962, the Department of Justice ordered the American Zionist Council to register as an Israeli foreign agent. AIPAC was an unincorporated committee within the AZC.
Middle East analyst Jeffrey Blankfort and Grant Smith discussed AIPAC's obligation to register as an Israeli foreign agent and the likely negative impact of the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. The interview may be viewed on YouTube or heard as an audio Podcast.
Individual responses to the poll including results filtered by age and region may be accessed from Google.
IRmep is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit researching U.S. Middle East policy formulation.