Calls for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the only Jewish state and boycotting academic researchers from Israel are a denial of free speech [“Revival of the blacklist in Nassau?,” Opinion, Aug. 6]. These are the tactics of the boycott, divestment, sanctions movement, which seeks to punish Israel because of its policies toward Palestinians.
Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters has endorsed the goals of the BDS movement. Painting a Star of David on a prop pig and including that in your concerts, as Waters does, is anti-Semitism. Harassing musicians who choose to perform in Israel, as Waters has, is denial of free speech.
The BDS movement is all about denial of free speech. Waters should be blacklisted, denounced and subjected to the very tactics he employs. Free speech and commerce are not just for anti-Semites and Israel haters. The tactics he champions were used in Nazi Germany to dehumanize and demonize Jews. They were disgusting then, and they are disgusting now. The boycott of Waters’ shows at the Nassau Coliseum makes perfect moral sense and is a small measure of justice.
Roslyn Green, Woodmere
It’s shocking that elected officials are spending time and tax dollars caving to pressure to first blacklist businesses, and now entertainers. A dangerous tale is circulating that the boycott of products produced in illegal Israeli settlements is anti-Semitic.
BDS opposes discrimination, human rights violations and the illegal confiscation of land and assets. It does not oppose the Jewish people. Many moderate Jewish groups in and out of Israel, like Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews for Justice for Palestine, support BDS as a peaceful way to protest human rights abuses. BDS is modeled after South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, which began in the 1960s.
Powerful Jewish lobbyists are pressuring U.S. politicians to pass a law called the Anti-Israel Boycott Act, which would make it illegal for U.S. citizens engaged in interstate or foreign commerce to support boycotts against Israel. How can this blatant violation of the constitutional right to free speech even be attempted? It’s a vote grab. We should all be aware and afraid of the dark turn this is taking. Our elected officials should put the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens first!
Marie Polifrone, Hewlett
There is a difficult but effective way to protest the appearance of Roger Waters at the Nassau Coliseum next month. The answer is silence. No protesting, no picketing, no petitions . . . just silence.
Simply fill the hall and have the people sit quietly — no applause, no booing, no hissing, nothing. At the end, simply get up and leave quietly.
Even the writer of “Revival of the blacklist in Nassau?” could not fault that! After all, don’t people have the First Amendment right to react as they choose, providing their actions are lawful?
Thomas Focone, Stony Brook