Attention USA and Other Democracies: Free Speech Is Not Free

All pro-Palestine and/or Hamas demonstrations in US cities and campuses are illegal and criminal. But before you cry “free speech!” and “first amendment” rights, there is a big difference between free speech and the incitement to commit violence.

Signs that reads “Jihad now!”, “From the river to the sea Palestine will be free”, “Death to Israel”, and/or persuasive speakers from podiums condoning hate and supporting the violent and barbaric tactics of Hamas and other Iran-backed terrorist groups, fit the legal definition of ‘incitement to violence’ under United States Government law. “Whoever travels… or uses any facility…with intent (1) to incite a riot; or (2) to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot; or (3) to commit any act of violence in furtherance of a riot; or (4) to aid or abet any person in inciting or participating in or carrying on a riot or committing any act of violence in furtherance of a riot…Shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.” It should be noted that “riot” is defined here as acts of violence which “constitute a clear and present danger…”

The success of their incitement can be attributed to the tremendous global increase in anti-Semitism, along with the growing number of reports of violent and murderous offenses against Jews and pro-Israel supporters.

Therefore, upon witnessing these pro-Hamas demonstrations, law enforcement must arrest the speakers, leaders, and rioters. They must be arrested and criminally charged with incitement to violence. Later on, for those looking for a job, a simple employer background check will reveal an arrest record and force them to explain their illegal and hateful behavior to their prospective employers.

It has been documented that these anti-Israel leaders and organizers, many of Muslim and Palestinian origin, benefit from organizations with questionable deep-pocket funding and objectives (for example: Students for Justice in Palestine).

Many participants in pro-Hamas demonstrations are uninformed, indoctrinated, and easily led, and just blindly accept the horrendous and unfounded claims against Israel. They repeat whatever hateful chants the speaker shouts out, without understanding its ramifications. As a college instructor for over 19 years, and a business manager for more than that, my goal for my students and employees was always to teach them how to think, not what to think.

Demonstrations for a cause (for example: free the hostages, democratic new elections for Palestine Authority and Gaza, stop the oppression of Iranian women/LGBTQ+ members, etc.), which do not incite and promote violence, or influence some fringe people to become violent, are perfectly legal and are a vital part of a democratic society.

The youth in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, loudly and forcibly demonstrated for civil rights, anti-war, and to free Soviet Jews. They did not demonstrate in support of killing/raping/beheading of anybody. And they could easily articulate and factually support their point of view.

There is a stark comparison between the March for Israel (Nov 14, 2023, Washington, DC) which drew nearly 300,000 Jews and pro-Israel supporters. The event was filled with positive messages, as opposed to all the pro-Palestinian demonstrations that are filled with anger, hatred, and incitement to violence.

The intellectually vacant and certain Muslims, who support anti-Semitic hatred, are obviously not espousing or supporting democratic values. The first amendment of the US Constitution gives “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.” Contrast the aims of these vapid one-issue inciters (anti-Israel/Jew) versus the historic behavior of other American groups searching and marching for freedom and equality.

Such open hatred towards another group, tacit support for barbaric, inhumane behavior of a totalitarian entity (Hamas), with its complete disregard for human life, is illegal, shocking, and must be countered by strict law enforcement. Remedial education of our youth, the world’s future leaders, towards the adherence of human values, along with a basic education of Israeli/Jewish and world history and the perils of effective propaganda and dark marketing is sorely lacking. If these countermeasures are not instituted, the warmongering, totalitarian-supporting rabble wins. And then Hamas, along with other Iranian proxies, will soon be at the front door of the rest of the world.

About the Author
David is a former NYC advertising agency, corporate-side marketing executive, and consultant. Prior to his career in advertising David spent 5 years in the financial arena. David holds a BS and MBA (both in Marketing & Finance) from New York University. He has been an officer/board member/speaker of industry, educational, and community organizations, as well as several new business startups. David is a US Patent Holder and published author (Hey Israel – You’re Perfect. Now Change (free) and How to Run the Business of YOU). See his website for more information and other writings. David is a retired instructor from Rutgers University School of Communication & Information. He lives in Ashkelon, Israel with his wife and is an active volunteer with the Ashkelon Search and Rescue.
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