Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Irish FM: BDS is a 'legitimate political viewpoint'

Racism can also be protected under free speech, but that does not make it a "legitimate viewpoint".

Via Jerusalem Post (h/t Irishchutzpah):
 In advance of his June visit to Israel, Irish Foreign Minister Charles Flanagan has confirmed the legitimacy of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

“While the [Irish] government does not itself support such a policy, it is a legitimate political viewpoint, albeit one regarded in Israel as deeply hostile,” he told the Irish parliament last Thursday during a question and answer session.

“I do not agree with attempts to demonize those who advocate this policy, or to equate them with violent terrorists,” he said.

“I am deeply concerned about wider attempts to pressure NGOs and human rights defenders through legislation and other means to hinder their important work. We have raised this both at the EU level and directly with the Israeli authorities,” he said.

Holland and Sweden have similarly confirmed that the BDS movement, which seeks to push Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 lines and allow refugees to return, is protected under the laws of free speech.
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