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Israel lobby hijacks trade bill to derail boycott movement: Analyst

The Israel lobby has included provisions in the trade bill to push back against the growing boycott movement against Israel, says an analyst.

The passage of a controversial trade bill by the US Senate with provisions that oppose the international boycott movement against Israel is another attempt by the Israel lobby to “hijack a piece of legislation” to benefit Tel Aviv, says an analyst.

“Here we have another example of this ultra-powerful Israel lobby using its weight to include into this trade legislation something that will benefit this extremely right-wing and fascist government in Israel,” Wayne Madsen, an author and investigative journalist from Florida, told Press TV on Thursday.

The Senate passed the measure Wednesday as part of the Trade Promotion Authority legislation. The legislation was already passed by the House of Representatives and is expected to be signed into law by President Barack Obama.

The provisions require US negotiators to oppose the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel during the ongoing free trade negotiations with the European Union.

The BDS campaign seeks to increase economic and political pressure on Israel until the regime ends the occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands and respect the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

“I wish Obama had the power to veto that… but he does not have that luxury unfortunately,” Madsen said.

“Hopefully the rest of the world will not succumb to this type of pressure, and we will see new venues to slap Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions legislation on Israel and its policy of genocide in the West Bank and in Gaza,” he added.

The boycott campaign against Israel began in July 2005 by 171 Palestinian organizations, calling for "various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.”

Over the past few years, various initiatives for boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions have been issued by students, academics and intellectuals in Europe, the US, South Africa, Canada, India, Pakistan, Australia, Latin America, and elsewhere.

Today, divestment from Israel has spread across tens of campuses in North America. In 2013, two major US academic groups - the American Studies Association and the Association for Asian American Studies – joined the international boycott movement.


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