[Boycott Israel Movement]
October 20, 2017
TLB Editors note: The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (also known as BDS and the BDS Movement) is a global campaign attempting to increase economic and political pressure on Israel to end what it describes as violations of international law.
A Houston suburb will not approve grants to repair homes or businesses damaged in Hurricane Harvey if the applicant supports boycotting Israel.
The city of Dickinson’s application form for storm damage repair funding includes a clause stating that “By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.”
No other clauses about political affiliations or beliefs are included in the form.
The state of Texas passed a law in May banning state entities from contracting with businesses that boycott Israel. The law, one of 21 passed in states around the country in the past few years, has been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union as unconstitutional.
Local TV news station KTRK reported that the damage Dickinson received “may be the worst of Harvey,” with more than 50 inches of rain in 72 hours. The widely-distributed photo of residents of a nursing home waiting to be rescued as floodwater reached their waists was taken in Dickinson.
Calls to the offices of the mayor and the city secretary were not returned.
Treasonous Governor Greg Abbott today signed into law House Bill 89 (HB 89), known as the Anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions) bill, which prohibits all state agencies from contracting with, and certain public funds from investing in, companies that boycott Israel. The Governor hosted the bill signing at the Jewish Community Center in Austin. Today also marks Israel’s Independence Day.
Read more: Anti-Israel Policies Are Anti-Texas Policies
HOUSTON — The city of Dickinson, Texas, is requiring applicants for Hurricane Harvey rebuilding funds to certify in writing that they will not take part in a boycott of Israel. The American Civil Liberties Union criticized the city’s condition as a violation of free speech rights.
“The First Amendment protects Americans’ right to boycott, and the government cannot condition hurricane relief or any other public benefit on a commitment to refrain from protected political expression,” said ACLU of Texas Legal Director Andre Segura. “Dickinson’s requirement is an egregious violation of the First Amendment, reminiscent of McCarthy-era loyalty oaths requiring Americans to disavow membership in the Communist party and other forms of ‘subversive’ activity.”
The city’s website says that it is accepting applications from individuals and businesses for grants from money donated for hurricane relief. The application says that by signing it, “the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.”
The city appears to be enforcing a recently passed Texas law that requires all state contractors to certify that they are not participating in boycotts of Israel. While the ACLU does not take a position on boycotts of foreign countries, the organization has long supported the right to participate in political boycotts and has voiced opposition to laws and bills that infringe on the right to boycott.
The Supreme Court ruled decades ago that political boycotts are protected by the First Amendment, and other decisions have established that the government may not require individuals to sign a certification regarding their political expression in order to obtain employment, contracts, or other benefits.
On October 11, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit challenging a Kansas law on behalf of a high school math teacher who is being required by the state to certify that she won’t boycott Israel if she wants to take part in a teacher training program.
In July, the ACLU sent a letter to members of Congress opposing a bill that would make it a felony to support certain boycotts of companies doing business in Israel and its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. As a result, Senate sponsors of the bill are considering changes.
If you are affected by this outrageous violation of the US Constitution, click here for the ACLU intake form and attorney referral information: ACLU: Texas Legal Intake
For more information on the assault by Israel on the United States, see also:
If you aren’t outraged enough, you need to know Hurricane Harvey was man made: Hurricane Harvey & the Weather Terrorists from Land, Sea and Air