The Israel Anti-Boycott Act (S. 720 and H.R. 1697), introduced in Congress this year, is clearly an unconstitutional infringement of civil rights (per the Supreme Court, the First Amendment now covers words, money and political action).

This proposal would make it a felony for Americans to support the international boycott against Israel, which was launched in protest of that country’s decades-old occupation of Palestine. It was drafted with the assistance of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, part of the Israel lobby. AIPAC, in its 2017 lobbying agenda, identified passage of this bill as one of its top priorities.

I am proud of my Jewish heritage. My forebears in the Wolfe, Opper, Levy and Barnett families came to this country long ago for the very freedoms that the Israel lobby now seeks to destroy (including Benjamin Wolfe, my fifth great-grandfather, one of the founders of the sixth-oldest Jewish congregation in America, Congregation Beth Ahabah, in Richmond, Virginia).

Criticism of Israel and the Israel lobby is not anti-Semitism, and everyone knows it. Many people feel that our tax dollars and other support of Israel, and its dangerous agenda in the Middle East, is not in the best interests of this country. I ask our elected representatives, please, to oppose this form of totalitarianism and to preserve our rights to criticize and oppose Israel and the Israel lobby without fear of condemnation, accusation of hate crimes and criminal penalties.

David Plimpton

Cape Elizabeth