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The Daily TIP: Legal Expert: ACLU Misrepresenting Senate Bill Against Israel Boycotts

Posted by Tip Staff - July 28, 2017

Legal Expert: ACLU Misrepresenting Senate Bill Against Israel Boycotts
PA Payments to Palestinian Who Killed 3 Israelis Could Lead to Passage of Taylor Force Act
U.S. Officials: Iranian Satellite Launch Suffered "Catastrophic Failure"
Israeli Celebrity Chef to Open Third Int'l Branch this August in Australia

Legal Expert: ACLU Misrepresenting Senate Bill Against Israel Boycotts

In its criticism of Senate legislation against anti-Israel boycotts, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has falsely described the bill as an unconstitutional attack on free speech, a legal scholar argued in The Washington Post on Thursday.

The ACLU's claims that Israel Anti-Boycott Act inhibits the free expression of ideas are "as weak as they are dramatic," argued Eugene Kontorovich, a law professor at Northwestern University.

The new legislation is actually a "minor updating of a venerable statute," namely the 1977 Export Administration Act, which prohibits "U.S. entities from participating in or cooperating with international boycotts organized by foreign countries," Kontorovich explained. "For example, telling a Saudi company, 'You know, we don’t happen to do business with the Zionist entity' would be prohibited."

While the 1977 act used broad language, it was "explicitly aimed at the Arab states’ boycott of Israel," Kontorovich noted. "The law has been upheld against First Amendment challenges in the years after its passage and has not raised any constitutional concerns in nearly four decades since," he added.

The Israel Anti-Boycott Act is a necessary extension of the 1977 measures, Kontorovich wrote, because United Nations agencies have begun the process of organizing boycotts of Israel.

The UNHRC's efforts to boycott Israel are "unprecedented," given that "the Human Rights Council clearly does not regard businesses 'supporting' settlements to be a human rights issue except when Israel is involved." (Kontorovich argued this point before the UNHRC last month.)

PA Payments to Palestinian Who Killed 3 Israelis Could Lead to Passage of Taylor Force Act

The generous monthly salary that Palestinian terrorist Omar al-Abed will receive from the Palestinian Authority as a reward for his murder of the Salomon family could be a powerful incentive to a pending U.S. legislative bill that would cut aid to the PA for sponsoring terrorism.

Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told Ben Cohen at The Algemeiner on Tuesday that “This is definitely going to put wind in the sails of the Taylor Force Act.”

The bill, named after a former U.S. Army officer who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian assailant in Israel last year, requires the State Department to cut funds to the PA until it stops paying salaries to Palestinian terrorists and their families.

“Supporters of the Taylor Force Act have been looking for additional momentum, in terms of cutting funds to the PA over terrorism,” Schanzer explained, adding, “This only reinforces what they’ve been saying for months.”

Al-Abed---who murdered three members of the Salomon family at Shabbat dinner in the West Bank community of Halamish in a knife attack last Friday---is currently in Israeli custody awaiting trial. If he is imprisoned for 30 years or more, he can expect a substantial monthly salary from the PA that can climb as high as $3,120.

The “martyr” monthly payments, totaling at least $300 million annually, far exceed the average monthly salary of Palestinians---a policy that is “wildly popular in the West Bank,” according to Schanzer.

U.S. Officials: Iranian Satellite Launch Suffered "Catastrophic Failure"

Iran's launch of a rocket carrying a satellite into space on Thursday, in apparent violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution, suffered a "catastrophic failure" shortly after takeoff, United States officials told Fox News on Friday.

The two officials said that the Simorgh rocket likely exploded before it reached orbit. The U.S. Strategic Command, which monitors launches worldwide, confirmed that no satellite was deployed from the rocket.

Though Iran boasted that the launch was successful, U.S. intelligence agencies "quickly determined that assessment was more propaganda than fact," according to Fox.

The launch was the first from the newly dedicated Imam Khomeini Space Center. Iran has yet to successfully launch a satellite into orbit.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Thursday that the administration considered the launch---successful or not---to be a violation of UN Security Council resolution 2231, which implemented the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. While the language in the resolution "call upon" Iran not to develop ballistic missiles, "we would consider that a violation of UNSCR 2231," Nauert said. "We consider that to be continued ballistic missile development," she added.

In an analysis written last year, arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis explained that the technology employed by Iran’s Simorgh rocket appears to be the same used in North Korea’s Unha SLV series, which the U.S. intelligence community has concluded “could be used for an ICBM-class vehicle” capable of carrying nuclear weapons to the U.S.

Israeli Celebrity Chef to Open Third Int'l Branch this August in Australia

Israeli celebrity chef Eyal Shani is soon to open the latest branch of his Tel Aviv falafel joint, Miznon, in Melbourne, Australia. Miznon has already seen huge success in its Paris and Vienna locations and also will open in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market this fall.

Miznon (Hebrew for “buffet” or “canteen”) doesn’t serve only the signature spicy deep-fried chickpea balls in pita pocket bread, but also a variety of vegetables, salads, meats and breads prepared in-house. Part of the appeal is an open kitchen so patrons can watch the behind-the-scenes magic.

Shani chose his next location based on evidence that the good folks of Melbourne, Australia, are going wild for Israeli-style street food. According to TimeOut Melbourne, two other falafel places have opened in the city over the past year.

The Melbourne branch of Miznon is set to launch this August.

(via Israel21c)

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