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Reform Cantors Condemn the Anti-Boycott Legislation Passed by Knesset

July 15, 2011

The American Conference of Cantors joins Rabbi Eric Yoffie, and the Union for Reform Judaism, in
condemning the anti-boycott legislation passed Tuesday by Israel’s Knesset. The new law permits legal
action against individuals or organizations determined to be instigators of anti-Israel boycotts. Susan
Caro, ACC President commented, “As cantors, we recognize the power of the voice. We speak out
against this effort to silence dissenting voices.”

Noting the chilling effect on free speech in Israel, Rabbi Yoffie stated:

“The Reform Movement has long supported free speech as essential to the life of any democracy. This
new boycott bill is therefore deeply troubling. We do not support boycotts or economic sanctions
imposed upon Israel, whether internal or external, individual or organized; however, we strongly
condemn legislation that limits speech or symbolic speech. Claims that this bill is necessary to prevent
efforts to delegitimize Israel are sorely misguided; it will, in fact, have the exact opposite effect, by
tarnishing Israel's image as a state committed to democratic values.”

The ACC is deeply concerned and troubled by the Knesset’s anti-boycott legislation. It is our hope, as
Rabbi Yoffie said, “the Israeli Supreme Court will uphold Israel's tradition of personal liberty and…strike
down this legislation."

The ACC supports the boycotters' right to influence issues without fear of legal action. Differences of
opinion should not be legally penalized. As the Talmud states, “These and those are the words of the
living God.”

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About the American Conference of Cantors
Founded in 1953, the American Conference of Cantors is the pre-eminent professional organization of
Cantors in North America, currently representing over 450 cantors in North America and around the
world. As clergy committed to Judaism and Jewish Music, the membership of the ACC serves the diverse
needs of the Jewish people. As an affiliate of the Union for Reform Judaism, the ACC supports its
members in their sacred calling as emissaries for Judaism and for Jewish music, providing a unique and
dynamic vision of programs and initiatives that respond to the needs of the greater Reform community.
For more information, please visit the ACC’s website at