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Dear Elliott, Shabbat Shalom,
I am writing to express my deepest concern and objection to the decision taken by WJC to actively endorse legislation that in its spirit and in its specifics is unconstitutional and an assault on free speech. The call for a legislated ban or boycott of businesses that want to participate in a voluntary boycott of Israel until it ends the occupation and the ongoing violations of Palestinian human rights is hypocritical, and is a blatant effort to silence dissent. You do not even distinguish between boycotting Israel and boycotting settlement enterprises on stolen Palestinian land. As a respected member of the business community for over 40 years, and as owner of a business for over 30 years, I have the right to participate and have my business participate in a nonviolent movement without fear of recrimination from my own government.
It is very disappointing that our local NYS Assembly Member David Buchwald is a co-sponsor of A8220. I am trying to set up a meeting with him. If you are in his district and would be willing to attend this meeting, please let me know. In the meantime, please do be in touch with your state representatives on this free speech matter. The NY State Senate passed a bill last week that will create a blacklist of individuals and institutions that are engaged in a boycott of a U.S. ally. 55 NY state senators voted in favor and 6 senators voted against
These six NYS Senators who voted against are all African American and Latino.