Michael Valentine’s ban against Zionists is hate speech in itself

(Jose Davila IV | The Salt Lake Tribune) Weathered Waves in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, March 6, 2024.

It is good to hear that Michael Valentine’s banning of Zionists from his Weathered Waves bar is based on his repudiation of hate speech.

Can we assume this means he will also be banning anyone who has chanted or believes in “from the river to the sea, Palestine shall be free,” as this is hate speech calling for the genocide of Jews in Israel?

Supporters of Hamas will be banned as well, I assume, since Hamas perpetrated genocidal acts against Jews on Oct. 7 and has openly vowed to repeat this over and over again. And anyone sporting a Confederate battle flag on their truck? Anyone who supports Republican legislators who voted against women’s rights and the rights of the LGBTQ+ community? NonMormons who tell Mormon jokes?

But this is no joke. Valentine’s ban against Zionists is hate speech in itself as it creates fear amongst a targeted group. Don’t believe for a minute that this publicized ban doesn’t have a chilling effect on Jews in Utah. The first time a Jew is forcibly removed from the bar by bouncers or other patrons, what will happen next?

If this is deemed legal, which establishments will follow suit? When the Proud Boys flock to Michael Valentine’s bar in support, what then?

Does this look familiar?

Mark Cantor, Salt Lake City

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