She Wouldn’t Promise Not to Boycott Israel, So a Texas School District Stopped Paying Her – Smart Media Magazine

She Wouldn’t Promise Not to Boycott Israel, So a Texas School District Stopped Paying Her


In the meantime, the state-level battles continue. This month, another lawsuit was filed in Arkansas, where the A.C.L.U. is representing The Arkansas Times, a newspaper that says the state’s anti-B.D.S. law is unconstitutional. And on Tuesday, the A.C.L.U. filed a lawsuit in Texas (separate from Ms. Amawi’s) on behalf of four people who were affected by the law there.

“I hope the courts are going to continue standing up for Americans’ First Amendment rights, but I also hope legislators will start standing up for those rights as well,” Mr. Hauss said. “It takes a lot of resources to bring these lawsuits in every state, and I think the principles are pretty clearly established at this point.”

Joel Schwitzer, the regional director of the American Jewish Committee in Dallas, which supported the bill’s passage in Texas last year, said the law was appropriate because the B.D.S. movement threatens the very existence of Israel, and because the law does not violate the United States Constitution.

“You absolutely have a First Amendment right to free speech, but there is no absolute right to do business with the State of Texas,” he said. “If a company chooses to boycott Israel, then the State of Texas chooses not to do business with you.”

But he added that the law was misapplied in the case of Ms. Amawi because she is an individual who can avoid Israeli products without affecting her work. “If her choice is to boycott Israel, that’s her right and it doesn’t have any bearing on her ability to provide speech pathology,” he said.

Phil King, a Texas state representative who wrote the bill there, said in an emailed statement that the law did not infringe on anyone’s right to criticize or boycott Israel.

“Our state law narrowly regulates against state and local government involvement in discriminatory commercial activity,” added Mr. King, a Republican. “It does so in order to defend hundreds of millions of dollars in exports and employment interests that depend upon trade with Israel.”



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