Thursday, March 24, 2016

speaking out against brazenly abusive members of the fascist ruling-class will soon be hate speech!!!



theintercept |  Adoption of this “anti-Semitism” definition clearly would function to prohibit the advocacy of, say, a one-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict, or even the questioning of a state’s right to exist as a non-secular entity. How can anyone think it’s appropriate to declare such ideas off limits in academic classrooms or outlaw them as part of campus activism?

To ban the expression of any political ideas in such a setting would not only be wildly anti-intellectual but also patently unconstitutional. As UC Irvine School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky put it today in an LA Times op-ed: “There unquestionably is a 1st Amendment right to argue against (or for) the existence of Israel or to contend that it should meet (or not have to meet) higher standards of human rights than other nations.” Even the now-retired Executive Director of the Anti-Defamation League Abraham Foxman — while arguing that “the effort to support boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, is sinister and malicious and is having a negative effect on Jewish students on some campuses and on the wider Jewish community” — acknowledged in May that such bans would be clearly unconstitutional:

Legislation that bars BDS activity by private groups, whether corporations or universities, strikes at the heart of First Amendment-protected free speech, will be challenged in the courts and is likely to be struck down. A decision by a private body to boycott Israel, as despicable as it may be, is protected by our Constitution. Perhaps in Europe, where hate speech laws exist and are acceptable within their own legal frameworks, such bills could be sustained. But not here in America. But none of that seems to matter to Dianne Feinstein and her war-profiteering husband, Richard Blum. Not only is Blum demanding adoption of the State Department definition, despite the fact that (more accurately: because) it would encompass some forms of BDS activism and even criticisms of Israel. 

But, worse, he’s also insisting that it be binding and that students who express the ideas that fall within the State Department definition be suspended from school or expelled. And he’s overtly threatening that if he does not get his way, then his wife 0- “Your Senior Senator” — will get very upset and start publicly attacking the university, a threat that public school administrators who rely on the government for their budgets take very seriously.

This behavior is as adolescent as it is despotic. Does anyone believe that college and post-graduate students should be able to express only those ideas about Israel that Dianne Feinstein and her war-profiteering husband deem acceptable?

It’s no mystery what this is really about. The Israeli government and its most devoted advocates around the world are petrified at the growing strength of the movement to boycott Israeli goods in protest of the almost five-decade occupation. As Foxman conceded, the boycott idea “seems to be picking up steam, particularly on college campuses across the United States. While no universities have yet adopted or implemented BDS, there are a growing number of campuses — now up to 29 — where student organizations have held votes to determine whether they support BDS.” Just this week, the City Council of Reykjavik, the largest city in Iceland,voted to boycott all Israeli goods as long as the occupation persists (days later, the City quickly retracted the vote, citing the unexpectedly intense “backlash” from Israel).