The venerable New York Times, in an editorial, has endorsed the concept of blacklisting Jews. This is from a newspaper which has a proven record of deliberately down-playing evidence of genocide against the Jews during the Holocaust.
In this Country, conspiracies, and sometimes even parallel conduct, in restraint of trade have been illegal since 1890. The movement to blacklist Israel through BDS is nothing short of an economic conspiracy in restraint of trade.
Blacklisting of Jews unfortunately is nothing new. The Jewish State and Jews in general have been blacklisted and have been the object of restraints of trade since antiquity. One of the most frequent ways that the Jewish community has been attacked throughout the ages is by economic boycotts.
The argument that free speech should permit organizations and parties to refrain from doing business with Israel because Jews are permitted by the Netanyahu government to live in ancient Israel is a clear canard. Jews should be able to live anywhere in the world, including in Judea and Samaria. Of course, the Muslim countries in the Middle East do not subscribe to this view. While Arabs are permitted to live anywhere in Israel and have full representation in the Knesset, Jews essentially have been excluded and expelled from every Arab country in the Middle East and from what has been called the West Bank of the Jordan River.
The New York Times, in the interest of freedom, democracy and simple decency, should join the movement to prevent blackmail and economic group boycotts against Jews and the Jewish State justified on differences in political philosophy. The fact that one may not like the Netanyahu government should not be used as an excuse to drive Jews and Jewish economic interests out of the West Bank of the Jordan River, the Arab world, or anywhere else on this planet.
Enough is enough. The Jewish community, the Jewish people in general and the State of Israel have endured substantial and continuous threats of economic retaliation for alleged policies that the enemies of the Jewish people do not approve of. The New York Times unfortunately has gone along for the ride.
There is no political justification for group economic boycotts which has been against the spirit of American law for well over 100 years. Individuals are certainly free to purchase or refrain from purchasing goods as they see fit. There are plenty of people who would rather not buy their socks made in China, and may even avoid so doing. Individual decisions are different than economic group boycotts, and American jurisprudence supports that distinction.
The New York Times is on the wrong side of history and has permitted its hostility for the Jewish State and the settlement of Israel by the Jewish people to get in the way of fair and reasonable exploration of the issues. The BDS question is not about Prime Minister Netanyahu. Politics of The New York Times should not prevail over the fair treatment of the State of Israel or the Jewish people.
Cliff Rieders is a Board-Certified Trial Advocate in Williamsport, is Past President of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association and a past member of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. None of the opinions expressed necessarily represent the views of these organizations.