I’ve tried to write this post for over a week now. I should say something about the attack on Israel, right?
Yes, of course. It’s a horrific attack. 1300 men, women and children murdered. Hostages taken. Beyond words and comprehension. The pain of their loss is our loss, which many of us feel personally. No matter our feelings on politics or government, we should all be able to at least agree on this, right?
And yet the tragedy is still developing. There are hostages still at risk. And then you hear of the innocent lives lost in Gaza and it all starts to numb you.
We should all want peace, right?
Over the last week, we’ve also seen employment issues arise. Support for Palestinians, many of whom just want their own place to live and peace, has rocked some campuses and workplaces with those who go beyond that support by minimizing the attack or even worse, justifying it.
What’s an employer to do? Ignore it? Support it?
In the case of some law firms, they have withdrawn job offers to law students who were seen not just supporting the Palestinian cause, but praising the attack. Recently, some Starbucks employees were seen as supporting Hamas and may be fired as a result.
In Connecticut, the issues are complex. As I’ve talked about before, private employees do have some free speech protections under a state law that applies the First Amendment and Connecticut Constitutional protects to some political speech.
One important factor however limiting that right is that the speech cannot interfere with an employee’s performance or the operations of the business. If an employer is being boycotted as a result of the speech, then query whether that speech deserves to be protected.
I could go on about the legal aspects of this but honestly, I just don’t have the energy. The last week has been exhausting and it will only continue for the foreseeable future. I worry about the hostages and their families. I feel for the innocent civilians in Gaza who want nothing to do with Hamas.
I recently rediscovered a song that I heard when my kids were little that just struck a chord. It never made it big on the airwaves here, but the lyrics from Get It Together by Seal always seem to speak to me. Now so, yet again.
We got to keep this world together, got to keep it moving straight
Love like we mean forever, so that people can relate
If you’re rolling to your left, don’t forget I’m on the right
Trust and forgive each other
A little love and we just might