SF City Counselor warns against branding criticism of Israel as "hate speech"

San Francisco City Counselor John Avalos wrote a letter to the SF Municipal Transportation Authority, warning against the "dangerous precedent of branding political speech that may be unpopular to some as 'hate speech' in an effort to silence it."  Last week the San Francisco Supervisor disagreed with his colleagues who characterized an ad placed on SF buses as "hate speech."  The ad featured a quote from Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu that draws similarities between apartheid in South Africa and Israel's system of rule in the occupied Palestinian territory. The ad was placed by the organization American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).   Supervisor Avalos clearly distinguished AMP’s core political speech from hate speech, and encouraged SF Municipal Transportation Authority to leave open public buses as a forum for all speech.  Read the full letter.