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July 6, 2016 6:09 am

Los Angeles Times Falsely Claims Boycotts of Israel Are Free Speech

avatar by Elder of Ziyon

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The US Supreme Court building. Photo: Wiki Commons.

The US Supreme Court building. Photo: Wiki Commons.

From the Los Angeles Times:

 In recent months, a number of states have passed laws or taken other official actions to punish companies that participate in boycotts against Israel. California soon may do the same. But if it does, it will be making a mistake.

You don’t have to support the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement to be troubled when state governments in this country penalize American citizens for their political speech. As the Supreme Court has recognized, boycotts are a form of speech, protected under the Constitution.

As I have already shown, the Supreme Court ruling that the BDSers cite says no such thing. It protects non-violent speech, and it protects peaceful picketers of a store as engaging in free speech. Boycotts aren’t speech, though — they are actions, and the First Amendment does not protect them. Nowhere in that ruling is it said that boycotts are free speech.

The editorial’s misstatements of the law continue:

Do such laws violate the 1st Amendment? Although the Supreme Court has held that government may engage in its own “speech” and express its own opinions, it also has held that government may not deny a benefit to a person (or a company) because he holds the “wrong” opinion. In our view, denying state business to an otherwise qualified contractor simply based on its views about Israel — and its participation in a legal boycott — goes beyond “government speech” and raises serious constitutional concerns.

No one is penalizing a contractor for their political views, only for their actions. If they call for a boycott of Israel that is OK; if they are engaging in such a boycott, then it isn’t. It is a fairly straightforward distinction that the LA Times is choosing to fuzz.

In California, the situation has grown even more complicated. Opponents of BDS in the Legislature previously proposed a bill that would have forbidden state contracts with companies engaged in a boycott of Israel. But after legal objections, the legislation was radically reconfigured.

From the news stories I have seen, the legislation was not rewritten because of “legal objections,” but because of political concerns to increase the chances of passage.

This editorial is misstating and misrepresenting the law. The reconfigured bill doesn’t even have the alleged problems that the initial bill had, so the entire purpose of this editorial seems to be to make a legal statement. The headline of the article is “Boycotts of Israel are a protected form of free speech” — but that is simply not true.

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  • nat cheiman

    How about a boycott of LA Times and lets see what they call that

  • Eve

    The last time Jewish businesses were boycotted was in 1938. I guess that was free speech.Right, LA Times?

  • Sonia Willats

    Kristalnacht was “(politically correct) free speech” to those who participated too. But they were mirroring and enacting official government policy and knew they acted with official sanction and prompting.

    The world press, and huge swathes of academia have a politically-pleasing anti-Israel approach.

    Where is the root for anti-Israel that the White House, the EU, the UN and the world press express, that is also reflected in the media and academia? I wish I knew. Is it satan himself?

    Jew hate must go. Hatred of THE OTHER because he is the Other, must always be condemned.

  • Political Correctness is Political Stupidity and needs to be erased along with Islam that it supports.

  • Ephraim

    Because Nazism thrives in this country as it never did before. Jews are kept out of positions of authority because they ‘cannot be unbiased about Israel.’ Only the Jews are targeted (naturally), and the newspapers in the US bought lock, stock, and barrel into this anti-progressive, illiberal bigotry, directed solely at Jews, and accepted by a wide range of pseudo-progressive, and pseudo-liberal organizations, such as the majority of California’s state universities. Only antisemitism is regarded as not only acceptable, but mandatory for those Nazis who call themselves progressive. Who has paid these bigots off? I do not know, but there are a lot of petrodollars that go, exclusively, towards demonizing Israel, and pay for entire schools within universities, to spread their hateful slanders officially.

  • enufizenuf

    How many Jews in California will be stupid enough to vote for Hillary Clinton, an absolute ENEMY of the State of Israel?

  • Lia

    Thank, Elder of Ziyon, for clarifying what the paper so obviously tried to blur.

  • If it’s perverted and evil, there’s an excellent chance it’s from California.

    Just waiting for the Dersh to weigh in, if the LAT even has the courage to publish this giant, amidst its little maggots.

  • Why is that American newspaper defending boycotts of Israel? Who is paying whom? And why the political correctness when there are hardly 1% of the state of California admitting to be muslims

    Why is that American newspaper defending boycotts of Israel? Why the political correctness when there are hardly 1% of the state of California admitting to be muslims and at least 4% in California Jewish? And why are there so many anti-Israel academics and politicians in California which was built by so many devoted Jews and Christians?