Barry Bendar, NJ Congressional Candidate D4 Condemns Authoritative Republican Bills Aimed at Countering Opposition to US Arming of Israel’s Genocide



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State Senator Robert Singer (R-LD30) and State Assemblyman Sean Kean (R-LD30) recently announced a Seven Bill package that supposedly combats anti-Semitism. The Green Party of New Jersey (GPNJ) vehemently disagrees with every point in the seven bills.  

First and foremost, GPNJ wants to make it very clear that we are opposed to anti-Semitism in any form.  We believe that no person should ever be made to live in fear in any way based on their religious faith, their ethnic heritage, their sexual orientation or the color of their skin.  That said, we can easily see through these bills, and strongly believe that they are nothing more than yet another attempt to stifle free speech that certain groups, politicians, and most importantly wealthy lobbyists, don’t support – and are dangerous in their implications for the future. We reject “conflation” of opposition to US support for arming Israel or any other criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. It is ok to not agree with everything Israel does, millions of Israelis do it every day and now many are in the streets of Israel with similar demands as we are making here.   

According to the NJ State Republicans’ own site, one of the bills wants to enable the state to have the power to dictate to public universities who they can and cannot create an academic partnership with.  Another bill wants to give the state the power to dictate what businesses said public universities can and can’t divest from for any reason.  Another bill wants the state to mandate that universities must pre-approve protests of any kind.  All of these bills tell the universities that if they disobey, they could lose their state funding. All are serious threats to democracy within our state.

No surprise here. There is a 5th bill that scolds Rutgers University for having the audacity to have a conversation with their students over the students “unpopular” views.  

These bills are a continuation of the un-American and un-Constitutional AIPAC sponsored HR-3016, IGO International Boycott Act, which was introduced into the Congress and co-sponsored by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5), who has gained a reputation as an enemy of free speech since entering the Congress in 2017. Said Gottheimer of the recent passage of HR-3016 “…I’m proud that this bipartisan legislation has passed the House to help put an end to the anti-Semitic BDS movements strung along by enemies of our nation present in the international playing field such as at the United Nations.”

GPNJ believes that these bills do nothing to keep Jewish people in the United States safer, and are only used to stifle speech that condemns the far-right Israeli regime in any way.  Senator Singer and Assemblyman Kean showed everyone exactly who they are when they came out with a joint statement just a few weeks ago which called a billboard on Rt. 9 in Howell a “blatant display of anti-Semitism right here in our own backyard” and that it “perpetuated hate and violence against the Jewish people.”  The sign that they made this statement against simply said “Stand with humanity.  Stand with Palestine.”  Their attack on the billboard led to an attempt to pass a failed resolution in Howell NJ that not only tried (and failed) to condemn the protected free speech on the billboards but led to violent threats against one of the billboard sponsoring groups because the Howell anti-billboard resolution text had doxxed the billboard coordinator by publishing the phone number of the group – a detail that had no business in the council resolution.

If we continue to elect politicians who want to criminalize opinions and speech, while strong-arming institutions of higher learning into obeying only politician’s wealthy lobbyist’s opinions on education and morality, how long will it be until something else that any of us love and believe in is criminalized?  It is not the government’s job to tell people what they can and can’t say, tell businesses who they can and can’t do business with, or tell universities how to run their curriculum.  What Senator Singer and Assemblyman Kean are proposing here, and what Representative Gottheimer already introduced and had passed in The House, are dangerous bills that will only continue to divide an already over-divided nation.  We get through these turbulent times by speaking to each other, not by silencing one side.

Said Green Party Congressional Candidate, Barry Bendar, whose 4th Congressional District fully contains Legislative District 30, whom the two state legislators represent, “The Green Party has, and will always be an ‘Anti-War’  party.  How speaking out about the senseless murder of innocent women and children can be equated with anti-Semitism is beyond my comprehension.  What makes it even more bizarre is that those murdered innocents also happen to be Semites”.