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Tell Governor Baker: Don't Silence Free Speech on Palestinian Rights!

Tell Governor Baker: 

DON'T SUPPORT A CAMPAIGN TO SILENCE POLITICAL ADVOCACY For Human Rights!   

REJECT THIS ATTEMPT TO UNDERMINE FREE SPEECH! 

Israel backers are trying to recruit Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to their slanderous campaign against advocates of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

We need to tell the Governor: DON’T BUY IT!

Call Governor Baker:  617.725.4005

Supporters of Palestinian rights across the world have adopted the non-violent civic tactic of BDS as a means of pressuring Israel to live up to its obligations under international law. The rightwing government of Israel and its powerful US supporters regard this as a “threat” to its on-going Occupation and illegal settlement-building on Palestinian land.  They are campaigning everywhere to undermine – and in some cases virtually outlaw – this peaceful form of political activism.

In Congress there are bills in the House and the Senate to condemn and punish BDS supporters.  In states across the country legislation has been proposed, and in some cases passed, to punish BDS advocates and essentially criminalize free speech.  Where Israel backers have failed to pass anti-BDS legislation, they have relied on legally questionable anti-free speech executive orders by governors, as in New York State. 

But activists are also fighting back.  In Massachusetts, two recent amendments targeting BDS supporters were introduced but hastily withdrawn late in the legislative session.

Now a new campaign to target and slander BDS activism has been launched. The  American Jewish Committee  is circulating a “GOVERNORS AGAINST BDS” statement which aims to recruit all 50 state leaders into its effort to stop BDS.

We say to Massachusetts Governor Baker:

DON’T BUY INTO THIS DRIVE TO VILIFY HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISM!

STAND UP FOR FREE SPEECH AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT!

Call the Governor:  617 725 4005

The AJC statement insinuates that BDS supporters are anti-Semitic. If the Governor adds his name to such an ill-informed statement he would be supporting a slander against the many principled BDS advocates, both Jewish and Gentile, who firmly oppose anti-Semitism and all forms of racism.  We reject the claim that criticism of Israel and nonviolent pressure on it to conform to international human rights norms is in any way equivalent to anti-Semitism.  The use of boycotts as a peaceful means for bringing about social and political change is an honored tradition in our country and in this Commonwealth.  From the Boston Tea Party to the pre-Civil War abolitionist movement, from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Montgomery bus boycott to the boycott of apartheid South Africa, citizens of Massachusetts have been proud to be active participants.

Contrary to the AJC statement, the use of BDS against perceived injustice is not “antithetical to our values.”  What is antithetical is the discrimination against Palestinians because of their ethnicity, the permanent Occupation of another people and the on-going theft of their land.

 

PLEASE CONTACT THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE AND TELL CHARLIE BAKER: 

• Do not sign a statement which aims to stifle free speech and vilify non-violent civic advocacy!   

• Do not add your name to a campaign which slanders many thousands of your constituents working for a just peace and human rights in Israel-Palestine!

Office of the Governor
Massachusetts State House Room 280
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617.725.4005

 

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