Two congressional resolutions appear to equate support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement with delegitimizing Israel.

BDS has a storied history of promoting nonviolent change, from Gandhi’s struggle against British rule to the global campaign against South African apartheid. Today’s BDS cause is a global movement to encourage Israel, through peaceful means, to adhere to international law, end its occupation of Palestinian land and grant full civil rights to all in Israel.

Predictably, this nonviolent movement has provoked a ferocious reaction among Israel’s enablers, of which the current congressional resolutions are but one chilling example.

Americans have many restraints on absolute freedom; after all, we live in society and must compromise to coexist peacefully. But I draw the line – as does the First Amendment – on what opinions I can express about a foreign government. Penalizing the exercise of my rights is something I might expect in a “company town” or in a territory run by gangsters – or in an authoritarian state.

Just a few days ago, H.Res. 246 passed – Rep. Chellie Pingree should be commended for voting “no” in defense of freedom of speech.

S.Res. 120 is next, and voters are encouraged to voice their opposition to this all-advised resolution to Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King.

Tim Paradis

Portland


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