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Israel Boycott Fight Divides Democrats on Free Speech Concerns

  • Republicans use Senate bill to paint Democrats as anti-Israel
  • It would let states, cities cut off backers of Israel boycott
Israeli Flag EU Envoy Urges Focus On Peace Gain, Not Boycott
Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg
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Senate Republicans are daring Democrats to vote against a measure aimed at preventing anti-Israel boycotts as they seek to portray the party as divided over Israel.

Republicans added a provision to an otherwise bipartisan Syria sanctions bill that would let local and state governments cut ties with groups and businesses that advocate boycotting Israel. The new provision prompted complaints from some Democrats who say it would restrict free speech in an effort to politicize traditionally bipartisan support for Israel.