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Israel Middle East

An Open Letter to MA A.G. Maura Healey, 2/20/2107

Dean Stevens
2/20/2017

Attorney General Maura Healey
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108

A question for you, AG Healey: (that I wanted to ask you on the Jim and Marjorie WGBH radio show, but could not get through)

I voted for you, and support your clear and eloquent voice in my state government.

Did you recently travel to Israel?

Was it an all-expense-paid junket paid for by JCRC, a registered Israel Lobby group?

There will soon be “Anti-BDS” legislation filed in Massachusetts, barring the Commonwealth from doing business with entities that advocate BDS,

a call to boycott companies that profit from the West Bank Occupation.

I am a vendor for the Commonwealth. I am a strong advocate of BDS…Israel was founded on the displacement of 750,000 Palestinians, and continues to steal land and resources in the West Bank from Palestinians to build Apartheid settlements, and hold 2 million Palestinians in an open-air prison known as Gaza. Israel is a rogue nation, has an unspecified number of nuclear weapons, will not join the International nuclear entities, or allow inspections of its facilities. Israel routinely runs bombings of Gaza, killing thousands of civilians.

When this anti BDS legislation passes, (as it certainly will, being so well financed by well-heeled lobby groups) will you be legally bound to advocating for my losing my work as a vendor (court interpreter) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts?

Is it your opinion that Anti-BDS Legislation is a travesty, a clear violation of our right to free speech under the First Amendment? Or did your junket to Israel dissuade you of that opinion?

Sincerely,

Dean Stevens
Musician, Spanish Interpreter
Central America Traveler
www.deanstevens.com
www.communitychurchofboston.org
www.tremedal.org

“If I can’t do great things, I can still do small things in a great way.” MLK

From the Boston Globe…..7/21/2016:

By Frank Phillips GLOBE STAFF JULY 21, 2016

Those free trips that lawmakers have been taking to Israel — paid for by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, a pro-Israeli lobbying group – are still haunting Beacon Hill.
In both the state House and the Senate, two lawmaker offered — then quietly withdrew — amendments to the nearly $1 billion economic development bill last week that would crack down on companies which participate in boycotts of Israel for its treatment of Palestinians.

The amendments — by state Senator Cynthia Creem, a Newton Democrat, and state Representative Paul McMurtry, a Dedham Democrat — would have prohibited the state from contracting with any company that boycotted Israel.
JCRC, a registered lobbying group which has pushed the anti-boycott issue on Beacon Hill, has over the years squired state lawmakers for 10-day trips to Israel, paying any where between $4,000 to $6,000 for each member. Last December, 10 state senators participated in the tour, and the year before, a House contingent was treated to a similar junket.

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