Hassan should support freedom of speech – Seacoastonline.com

Posted: July 31, 2017 at 10:00 am

July 28 To the Editor:

Sen. Maggie Hassan spoke at the 35th annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration in Manchester last Jan. 16. I heard her and was impressed by her firm commitment to civil rights and inclusion in our state and country.

So I am shocked that she has co-sponsored the Israel Anti Boycott Act (Senate Bill 720). This bill imposes fines and criminal penalties, up to 20 years in prison, on those supporting the movement to boycott Israeli goods and divest in Israeli investments. The purpose of the boycott is to pressure the Israeli government to change its settlement policy, which many believe is illegal and also immoral.

I oppose hate speech in any form: anti-Semitic as well as anti-Muslim speech. I condemn acts of hate directed at others. However, American citizens have a First Amendment right to speak and act in favor of boycott and divestment. Whether or not I agree with the point of view of the boycott is beside the point. I must support any American who chooses to exercise this right peacefully.

So, I believe, should Senator Hassan.


David Blair


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