Part of my Google news feed today included a disturbing story. Just Google, “congress to make boycott of Israel illegal.” This is a direct attack on the first amendment and freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is the most important of our fundamental rights. It has to be exercised, or it has no value. And here is the thing, freedom of speech is the two edged sword. You have the right to express your opinion no matter who disagrees. But that also means that everybody else gets to express their opinions, no matter how offensive you find what they say. Here is the text of the first amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (Emphasis mine)
I believe it is reprehensible to boycott Israel. I believe that Israel has every right to all of the land currently occupied by the Palestinians. And I have the right to say as much. This also means that people with anti-Israel sentiments have every right to boycott Israel. They have every right to speak whatever antisemitic ideas that occur to them. The KKK has every right to speak whatever racist ideas they wish. Pedophiles have the right to advocate adult child sexual relations. Everybody has the right to argue pro-life, or pro choice, whichever they believe. No matter what the topic, you have the right to voice your opinion. No person, no matter what their political position, has the right to dictate what you can or cannot say, discuss, advocate, or condemn, no matter how offensive they believe your words are.
No matter how much I disagree with their ideology, opponents of Israel have the right to boycott, to organize boycotts, to discuss their reasons for the boycott, to come together in their mission. I, nor any other person, has the right to obstruct them. The second amendment clearly states above that, Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. So let them pass their law. I wager it will be contested to the supreme court where it will be struck down as unconstitutional.