Many Jews, including myself, as well as many others have been inspired by the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement in dealing with Israel. Israel’s current occupation of the Palestinian people on their traditional land is part of the reason for my discontent.

Last Friday, Wisconsin’s governor signed Executive Order 261, alleging “a robust trading relationship” with Israel. The order said the Boycott, Divest and Sanction movement against Israel is discriminatory and “serves to inflame conflict.” State agency will not be allowed to do business with entities that engage in a boycott of Israel.

By far the greatest inflammation of conflict runs from Israeli policies toward the Palestinians. This is similar to the boycott of South Africa when a minority community ran the country.

Thirty-five years ago the Supreme Court affirmed that non-violent boycott activities are protected free speech. The Wisconsin Constitution forbids any law that restrains or abridges our liberty of speech. The governor’s order falls short of these requirements.

Joel Garb, Black Earth

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