Tuesday, 7 June 2016

New York Governor Launches Attack on Free Speech in Behalf of Israel

Cuomo Says It’s Okay to Boycott North Carolina…But not Israel

[Ed. note – Back in 2011, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo labeled opponents of gay marriage as “anti-American.” Now, as the writers of the article below point out, Cuomo has just signed an executive order imposing penalties for boycotting Israel…this after recently giving his imprimatur to a boycott against the American state of North Carolina. Cuomo was objecting to the state’s move to block transgender restrooms.
In other words…Israel can murder as many Palestinians as it likes, steal as much of their land as it feels it’s entitled to or can get away with, maintain a bloody occupation from now until hell freezes over, but if you object to this by endorsing a boycott, you’re an anti-Semite. On the other hand, if a state in the United States moves to safeguard the sanctity of separate restrooms for males and females, this should be causing us sufficient concern to launch a boycott. Where do we get politicians like this? The answer is the Israeli lobby gives them to us…or more specifically imposes them on us. ]
By Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman
One of the greatest free speech threats in the west is the growing, multi-nation campaign literally to outlaw advocacy of boycotting Israel. People get arrested in Paris – the site of the 2015 “free speech” (for Muslim critics) rally – for wearing pro-boycott t-shirts. Pro-boycott students on U.S. campuses – where the 1980s boycott of apartheid South Africa flourished – are routinely sanctioned for violating anti-discrimination policies. Canadian officials have threatened to criminally prosecute boycott advocates. British government bodies have legally barred certain types of advocacy. Israel itself hasoutright criminalized advocacy of such boycotts. Notably, all of this has been undertaken with barely a peep from those who styled themselves free speech crusaders when it came time to defend anti-Muslim cartoons.
But now, New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo (above, in 2016 Celebrate Israel Parade) has significantly escalated this free speech attack on U.S. soil, aimed at U.S. citizens. The prince of the New York political dynasty yesterday issued an executive order directing all agencies under his control to terminate any and all business with companies or organizations that support a boycott of Israel. It ensures that citizens who hold and express a particular view are punished through the denial of benefits which other citizens enjoy: a classic free speech violation (imagine if Cuomo issued an order stating that “anyone who expresses conservative viewpoints shall have all state benefits immediately terminated”).
Even more disturbing, Cuomo’s Executive Order requires that one of his Commissioners compile “a list of institutions and companies” which – “either directly or through a parent or subsidiary” – support a boycott. That government list is then posted publicly, and the burden falls on them to prove to the state that they do not, in fact, support such a boycott. Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, told The Intercept: “Whenever the government creates a blacklist based on political views it raises serious First Amendment concerns and this is no exception.”Reason‘s Robby Soave denounced it today as “brazenly autocratic.”


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