Free Speech Issue in US

The ACLU has just asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an Arkansas law that requires all state contractors to sign a pledge declaring they will not boycott Israel. Arkansas is one of 35 U.S. states that have passed legislation to criminalize or discourage BDS. That’s the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to boycott Israel and Israeli goods to protest violations of Palestinian rights. The ACLU originally sued Arkansas on behalf of Alan Leveritt, the publisher of the Arkansas Times. He appears in the new documentary Boycott.

For us, it’s just basically a free speech issue. The state of Arkansas is requiring us to take a political position in return for advertising. We’re taxpayers here in Arkansas. We have as much right as anyone else to do business, to earn that business on our merits. And we’re being told that, “No, you have to also take a political position. You have to pass a political litmus test in order to do business.” And so, when we refused to sign and the state started shutting down our advertising, our state advertising, we sued. So, for us, it’s just — we’re not boycotting anyone; for us, it’s purely a First Amendment issue. This is still America.

— source | Oct 24, 2022

Nullius in verba


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