I am responding to Howard Fischer's piece entitled "Flagstaff attorney facing loss of state contract over Israel boycott".

The current Arizona state law that prohibits the state from contracting with individuals and groups who advocate a boycott of businesses that profit from the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians, is clearly a violation of free speech guaranteed under our first amendment. It also goes against the views of an overwhelming majority of nations in the world who support Palestinian rights.

Israel's 50-year occupation of the West Bank and Gaza territories has resulted in what many have described as "apartheid" - a strict separation and isolation of the Palestinian community - similar to what existed in South Africa prior to its democratization in the 1990's.

In that case, a world-wide boycott of businesses that invested in, and profited from the apartheid system, was credited by Nelson Mandela with leading to the end of that despised system. The right of attorney Mik Jordahl to express his opposition to this Israeli apartheid, including the right to advocate for a boycott, and not suffer economic punishment from the State of Arizona for expressing those views, is enshrined in our first amendment and is consistent with world opinion.

Further to smear him and other critics of Israel, many of them Jewish, as "anti-Semitic", is reflective of the "Big Lie" technique, first mastered by Nazi propagandists.

I trust that Jordahl and the ACLU will prevail in court on this important legal, and moral issue.

JOE BADER

Flagstaff

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