Letters to the Editor

Pro-Israel Florida

Re the March 17 article Florida law suppresses anti-Israel campaigns: If Florida politicians respect the Constitution, they should be stopped from enacting legislation that infringes on the rights of activists to undertake boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) in the United States.

The boycott is a universally accepted and constitutionally protected nonviolent activist tactic intended to achieve justice. Inspired by the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and the fight against institutionalized racial segregation in the United States, activists in Florida have employed BDS to peacefully pressure Israel to respect Palestinian rights.

BDS undoubtedly is protected speech under the Constitution. Pro-Israel groups have worked systematically and covertly with Florida politicians to punish and silence Florida BDS activists. Unquestionably, these legislative efforts are an attempt to restrict, prohibit, and chill activism in support of Palestinian rights.

By passing such alarming legislation, Florida politicians are stifling legitimate public expression opposing Israeli policy and seek to undermine a grassroots movement struggling nonviolently for Palestinian rights.

Instead of focusing on stifling the free-speech rights of activists in Florida, our politicians should be investing their efforts on resolving the most pressing issues facing Floridians today — economic development, education reform, job creation and climate change. After all, that is why we voted them into office, not to attack our civil liberties.

Noor Fawzy, Coral Springs