We should not be surprised
That the United States Senate has voted
To outlaw citizen boycotts
Of the nation of Israel.
It is what malignant states
Always do for each other —
You scratch my crimes against humanity,
I’ll scratch yours,
You make sure your supporters
Stuff my coffers with cash,
I’ll be certain my government
Hands billions of dollars and armaments galore
To yours,
You support my murderous interventions
In the affairs of sovereign states,
I’ll support your repression
Of six million people in your land
Whose presence in that place
Dates back to ancient times.

Israel is worried,
Worried that boycotts
To protest its many laws
Making Palestinians second-class citizens,
It’s brutal, assymetric war
Against Gaza,
Its seizure of more and more Palestinian territory
In the West Bank,
Will increase worldwide pressure
For a truly just peace
In that shared land,
And the old ploy
Of branding anyone who disagrees
With its policies and actions
As anti-semitic
Seems to be growing pallid and wan,
So Jerusalem could use some assistance
From its big brother in Washington,
And 77 U.S. Senators are happy to lend a hand,
Performing a little assault and battery
On our civil liberties —
As long as the fat cats
Keep feeding the kitty
The senators are ready and willing
To to tack a vicious little asterisk
Onto Amendment One.

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s newest book is And What Will We Sing? a collection of protest and social justice poems spanning the last 25 years. He podcasts at thirdactpoems.com and lives with his wife, Cynthia, in northern California. Read other articles by Buff.