Letter to the editor: Feb. 7, 2018

Kansas case should give Missouri anti-BDS law supporters pause

On Jan. 30, a federal court ruled against a Kansas law requiring state contractors to swear they will not boycott Israel. In a strongly worded decision, the court determined that the law violates the first amendment of the United States constitution. Specifically, the law forced a woman named Esther Koontz to sign a statement in opposition to her deeply held beliefs in order to work for the Kansas Department of Education in a position that had nothing to do with the State of Israel.

The next day a Missouri Senate Committee heard a bill that is very similar to Kansas’ unconstitutional law: Senate Bill 849.

The movement promoting boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel calls for Israel to end its military occupation, grant equal rights to all its inhabitants, and bring justice to Palestinian refugees, all in accordance with international law. It explicitly condemns anti-Semitism and all forms of racism. It is not a movement against Jews. It is a movement for justice.

New Mt. Sinai Cemetery advertisement

This newspaper, as well as the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish Federation have all come out in support of Senate Bill 849. In just one action the Jewish Light and the other organizations have managed to oppose the rights of both Palestinians and Missourians.

Michael Berg, St. Louis